Oxford in Tier 2 but cases rising, says Council leader

Published: Thursday, 17th December 2020

The Government has today announced that Oxfordshire will remain in Tier 2 High Alert restrictions for coronavirus.

Oxford City Council's leader responded to today's announcement:

“We think it’s appropriate that we remain in Tier 2 for now, but it’s worrying that cases are rising so quickly after lockdown. I am urging everyone in Oxford to be careful with the schools breaking up this week and throughout the Christmas period, if we are to avoid going into Tier 3 in the new year. People need to be especially careful in any indoor setting, stick to the rules on social groups, mask up and distance in shared spaces.  Even though we’re beginning to roll out the vaccine to residents there is a very real threat to people’s lives. Winter always kills, but this year more than ever we need to take care of the vulnerable.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council

The Director of Public Health for Oxfordshire has also issued a warning that cases across the county have increased nearly 50% in the last week, and urged people to take personal responsibility.

“Unless we all take personal responsibility as individuals and families throughout the coming weeks, we risk creating a situation in January that will see steeply rising numbers of cases at exactly the time of year when viruses thrive. This means putting even more pressure on our NHS at its busiest time of year. We need to protect ourselves and the NHS as we enter 2021.

“We therefore all need to be extra vigilant in the run-up to Christmas and to think carefully about our plans over the festive period. It is up to all of us to stop the spread.”

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health

People across the county are also being urged to get a test if they think they have symptoms. Testing centres will be open all through the holiday period, the best way to stop the spread is to self-isolate if you have symptoms and get a test.

During the Christmas period, the opening hours at regional, local and mobile testing units will be as follows:

Table showing coronavirus testing centre opening times over Christmas period

 

24 December

25 December

28 December

31 December

1 January

Regional testing site

8am to 5pm

9am to 3pm

9am to 3pm

8am to 5pm

9am to 3pm

Local Testing Site

8am to 8pm

9am to 3pm

9am to 3pm

8am to 8pm

9am to 3pm

Mobile testing unit

10am to 4pm

10am to 3pm

10am to 3pm

10am to 4pm

10am to 4pm

Local testing sites are at:

  • Woodgreen Leisure Centre in Banbury,
  • Oxpens in Oxford,
  • Oxford Brookes Headington Campus
  • Woodford Way, Witney

The regional testing centre at Oxford Parkway will close for 24 hours on 22 December for refurbishment work. While this work takes place on 22 December testing will take place at Dalton Barracks near Abingdon.

Booking is required for all testing sites, and there are plenty of slots available across all the county’s sites. Anyone with symptoms should book on the NHS website or by calling 119.