Coronavirus: West Norfolk restrictions unchanged despite announcement of new 'local lockdown' rules
Coronavirus restrictions in West Norfolk remain unchanged despite the announcement of new "local lockdown" measures by the Government this afternoon.
The new measures have been introduced, mainly in northern areas of England, to curb the rising Covid-19 rates.
England is to be divided into “medium”, “high” or “very high” local coronavirus alert areas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a short time ago, following days of speculation.
The move came after Mr Johnson held a telephone conference with Cabinet colleagues yesterday to discuss the situation and ongoing negotiations with local leaders in the North of England - where infection rates are higher.
Although infection rates in West Norfolk remain much lower than the national average, local leaders have warned they are rising.
Latest data shows there have now been a total of 1,016 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the borough since the pandemic began in March.
And, during a West Norfolk Council meeting on Thursday, the authority's leader, Brian Long, said the borough's current infection rate was around 25 per 100,000 people.
He said: "We’ve moved from a situation where we were just on the green side of things, on the low setting, up to intermediate,"
“Obviously things are looking, not just for West Norfolk, things are likely to get worse with Covid before they get better.”
In announcing the tier system at the House of Commons, Mr Johnson stressed there are now more people in hospital than when we went into lockdown on March 23.
"I take no pleasure whatsoever in imposing restrictions on businesses - nor do I want to stop people enjoying themselves," he said.
"But we must act to save lives. Evidence shows that our actions in changing our behaviour are saving lives.
"Left unchecked, each person with the virus would infect an average of 2.7 and 3 others.
"If we were to let the virus rip then the bleak mathematics dictate we suffer not only an intolerable death toll, we would put such a huge strain on our NHS that our doctors and nurses would be unable to devote themselves to other treatments.
"The weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of the country. But I have no doubt we will succeed."
The three tiers announced this afternoon represent an advancing scale of local restrictions.
Tier one restrictions - or the medium Covid-19 alert level - are the baseline restrictions in place across England, including a 10pm hospitality curfew and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.
Mr Johnson said that tier would cover most of the country.
Tier two restrictions are expected to be similar to rules currently in place in Middlesbrough and parts of the North East, where indoor mixing of households is not allowed. Parts of Nottinghamshire, and East and West Cheshire are among the areas deem to be at 'high' alert level.
Two households may be allowed to meet in a private garden, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.
The "very high" third tier restrictions, which will be imposed in the Liverpool city region from Wednesday, will force pubs and bars, betting shops, casinos, and gyms to close, while reports also suggest people will have to avoid all non-essential travel and to not travel between areas.