Coronavirus: Risk is still too high, Norfolk council leader admits
Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor has warned the risk of coronavirus remains too high in the county after it was placed in Tier Two of the Government's new restrictions.
The county has been deemed a high alert area in the measures outlined by ministers earlier today.
In a statement released a short time ago, Mr Proctor said he accepted the decision, though he admitted many people would find the new rules difficult.
He said: "In reaching the decision the government has looked at how the virus is progressing, rates in the over 60s and the capacity of local hospitals and concluded that the risk posed by household visits remains too high.
"The numbers are beginning to fall but we are not yet seeing a sustained decline in the virus.
"That means that we will move into tier two from next week, a decision that we accept but one that I know many people will find difficult."
North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: “While I welcome the return to the tier system and the lifting of a number of restrictions, it is disappointing that Norfolk will be in the high category with controls that particularly affect the hospitality businesses.
“The assessment recognises that rates in the majority of Norfolk are improving although they remain over 100 cases per 100,000 people. This position will be regularly reviewed and by following the rules I hope that we will be able to further control the virus and move to a lower tier.”
Latest Government data showed the rolling seven-day infection rate in West Norfolk stood at 142 cases per 100,000 people last Friday, November 24, up by 24 on the previous week.
Although numbers have also risen in North Norfolk, rates in the county's other districts have fallen.
Norfolk Police chief constable Simon Bailey said: “As we head into another phase of battling this pandemic, the new Tier restrictions aren’t quite as severe as the lockdown we have just come out of, but the reasons they are still with us are exactly the same – to prevent the spread of infection and saves lives.
“While we might all have our own opinions on these measures, we must take personal responsibility for making sure we adhere to them, the fact remains they are in place to protect us all and we need to follow them.
“As police, we don’t make the rules, we enforce them and I would urge each and every one of you to do the right thing and play your part in being risk aware, protecting yourselves, your loved ones and the county as a whole by sticking to the regulations.”
West Norfolk's neighbouring districts of Fenland, East Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk have also been placed in Tier Two.
But people living just over the western border at Sutton Bridge will find themselves in Tier Three after South Holland was placed in the highest alert level, along with the rest of Lincolnshire.