“I very much regret Staffordshire being placed in Tier 3 Covid restrictions and had hoped we might remain in Tier 2” says Michael Fabricant. “However, Covid infection rates were high throughout Staffordshire and although they had begun to fall in recent days as a result of the lockdown, they had not fallen enough and infection rates remain high in Lichfield District and elsewhere in Staffordshire – with the exception of Cannock which is slightly lower.
“I am very aware how this will affect locals and businesses. The detailed rules for Tier 3 can be found on the Government website HERE.
“In short, we must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues; we must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks – the so called ‘rule of 6’; and hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must remain closed, though they are permitted to continue take-out sales.
“I recognise how damaging this will be to businesses everywhere, but in most cases government support will continue at least until the end of March.
“There is now a very clear light at the end of this gloomy tunnel with Covid vaccine becoming available next month and through the first quarter of 2021. We will then be able to return to near normal life. In the meantime, we must all try and stay safe and not recklessly endanger the lives of others.
“I know that some people will question this Tiering system, but it is there to save lives. And this is not just from Covid, but to stop the NHS becoming overwhelmed as it has in some European countries, and causing those suffering from other medical conditions not to get the hospital treatment they urgently need.
“Of course, there will be some respite from all this over Christmas, but it is important that we do not run wild and stick to the rules. If infection rates do not rise, but continue on their downward path, there is a chance that Staffordshire will drop to Tier 2 when this is reviewed in a month’s time.”