Staffordshire residents and businesses are being asked to remain cautious despite the imminent ending of the second national ‘lockdown’.
This afternoon, Boris Johnson outlined England’s return to the ‘three-tier alert’ system when the national restrictions end on 2 December.
Non-essential shops which have been closed in England since 5 November will reopen and a Christmas ‘get-together’ plan backed by all the UK nations is being looked into.
The ban on gyms and outdoor grassroots sport will be lifted in all tiers. The opening of pubs will depend on what tier they fall in.
Locally, the seven-day rates for Staffordshire have fallen to around 350 cases per 100,000 population but remain above both the England and West Midlands average. Some county areas are still at over 400 cases per 100,000.
Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
“I welcome today’s announcement by the Prime Minister and the relaxing of restrictions on 2 December.
“This news and the recent fall in positive cases nationally and locally is a testament to all our combined efforts.
“However, I must issue a heart-felt plea to Staffordshire – we are not out of the woods yet. We can be optimistic, but it is imperative that we all remain focussed and guard against any complacency setting in.
“Let’s remain steadfast in our approach, let’s not take our foot off the pedal.
“Keep sticking to the rules and following the basic principles of hands, face and space.
“We want our businesses and schools open; we want to see our families and enjoy leisure activities. We have all missed socialising with others as we would normally do.
“Whatever our personal incentive is, we need to keep on doing this for what matters to us the most.
“When we finally do get through this, we will have the satisfaction that Staffordshire people pulled together and did their bit.”
MPs are due to vote on these proposals later this week and the details of which tier Staffordshire will be placed in is expected on Thursday.