The county has been placed into Tier 2: High alert in the latest announcement from the Government when the lockdown is lifted.
The Government announced today which tiers England will fall into after the lockdown ends on December 2nd.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, unveiled the plans in the House of Commons and said that “we must suppress the virus” with most places in the middle level – tier two, along with other restrictions it means the rule of six applies outdoors but there is no household mixing anywhere indoors.
Tier 2, which Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have been placed into, means we are an area with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections.
How tiers are chosen?
The decisions on which area goes into which tier are primarily based on 5 key epidemiological indicators:
Case detection rates in all age groups
Case detection rates in the over-60s
The rate at which cases are rising or falling
Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy
The indicators are designed to provide a full picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken.
Tier 2: High Alert Restrictions
Some of the restrictions for the area include:
You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue.
The full list of rules can be seen here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know
The system is to be regularly reviewed and an area’s tier level may change – the first review is scheduled for 16 December.
Leader of Shropshire Council responds
Despite a reduction in the number of positive cases in the past week, Shropshire’s current 7-day infection rate sits at 168.7 per 100,000 of the population.
Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:
“I would like to thank Shropshire residents for their commitment in helping to curb the spread of the virus. Without their efforts, we would have seen even more cases and further lives lost.
“During the past week, it has been encouraging to see a reduction in the number of positive cases. Whilst infection rates in Shropshire remain lower than in many parts of the country, our case rate is still high, and we are seeing positive cases across all age groups.
“I would urge everyone to get up to speed with the new guidance. We are all being asked to make some small but important adjustments which will help save lives.
A lot of people’s minds will now be focusing on the festive period. We must continue to be extremely careful – we need to limit our contact with people outside our household and support bubbles, maintain social distancing and do all we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
If we don’t act now, our cases will rise again, putting our loved ones and particularly the more vulnerable members of our community at risk.
We’re here to support businesses as much as possible as they get back up and running and will continue with our plans to help them get back on their feet during these challenging times.”