Staffordshire facing Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions as early as this weekend
Staffordshire is set to move into the second tier of tougher coronavirus restrictions following an increase in cases.
Staffordshire County Council said it was yet to be confirmed when the new measures will come into place, but warned it “could be as soon as this weekend”.
Under the “high” coronavirus alert category, people will be banned from mixing with other households indoors, while the rule of six will apply for those meeting outdoors, including in private gardens.
The local authority said the status of the alert level would be reviewed in 14 days.
It comes as the Staffordshire city of Stoke-on-Trent was also moved into Tier 2 restrictions last week.
Alan White, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said in a statement on Tuesday: “Our residents and businesses have made huge efforts to keep our county safe and open, but despite this, cases continue to rise rapidly and we are now facing tighter restrictions.
“This year, Staffordshire has showed what it does best – pulling together and supporting our communities, but now we need to redouble our efforts to avoid any further restrictions and protect our county.
“We can, and we must rise, to this new challenge, but it is down to each and every one of us to stick to the new rules when they do come into force to help keep Staffordshire safe and open for business.”
According to calculations by the PA news agency, the rate of new cases of Covid-19 in south Staffordshire was 364.7 per 100,000 people in the seven days to October 23, up from a rate of 172.5 in the seven days to October 16.
In the same period, east Staffordshire saw its rate increase to 216.3 per 100,000 people from 124.4, while the Staffordshire Moorlands saw it rise to 212.3 from 172.7.
The rate of new cases in Stafford also jumped from 159.5 per 100,000 people to 205.4.
Dr Richard Harling, the council’s director of health and care, said: “The virus is spreading in Staffordshire largely through social contact, so this extra guidance on mixing indoors will hopefully help reduce the rate of infection.
“By sticking to the Covid high alert rules, we have the best chance of not only curbing the spread of infection, but also of having these extra measures removed as quickly as possible.”