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Mayor James Palmer reacts to Tier 3 announcement for Peterborough - and issues warning to Cambridgeshire residents

Mayor James Palmer has spoken of his disappointment that Peterborough is moving into Tier 3 of the government’s coronavirus restrictions - and he issued a warning against complacency to Cambridgeshire, which will remain in Tier 2.

The leader of the Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was speaking after health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the arrangements for the first full review of the tiers.

Mayor James Palmer. Picture: Keith Heppell
Mayor James Palmer. Picture: Keith Heppell

Peterborough, Bedfordshire and the whole of Hertfordshire will move into Tier 3 from Saturday December 1 amid concern over infection rates in those areas.

Parts of Hertfordshire, along with all London boroughs and much of Essex, had already been moved on Wednesday December 17 into this tier, which represents ‘very high alert’ status.

It means pubs can only open to offer takeaways and football stadiums cannot allow fans inside. See our guide to the tiers for full details of what you can and cannot do in each.

The changes reflect high rates of transmission in Peterborough, where in the week to December 11 there were 564 cases, giving an infection rate of 278.9 per 100,000 people - well above the UK average.

By contrast, the whole of Cambridgeshire had 617 cases in the same week, giving an infection rate of 94.4 per 100,000 people, which is well below the national average.

Mr Palmer: “I have been urging government to fully consider the full impact on families and businesses before altering tiers in this region, and I am pleased that government has listened to our case.

“That being said, I am deeply disappointed for the businesses and residents of Peterborough.

Covid-19 restrictions in England. Graphic: PA (43610199)
Covid-19 restrictions in England. Graphic: PA (43610199)

“Moving into Tier 3 will mean much stricter restrictions which will impact on so many, especially in the hospitality sector, at what is normally their busiest time of the year. Government needs to support these businesses and their staff to ensure their regulations do not cause undue hardship.

“Nevertheless, I urge the people of Peterborough to follow the government Tier 3 safety guidance and take special consideration about not mixing, especially indoors or with people not from their own household or support bubble.

“The Combined Authority will continue to signpost and support business via its Growth Hub, residents must be sensible and use the local economy safely and please do follow the excellent guidance from my colleagues at Peterborough City Council who have been working tirelessly to put measures in place to ramp up the support and public health measures to tackle this pandemic in Peterborough.

“Of course, for the rest of the region that doesn’t mean we have been let off. Tier 2 is still not where we want to be and those in Tier 2 must continue to be vigilant and follow guidance.

“Christmas this year can’t be the same, I would urge caution and control so that we can be certain of doing the things we love with the people we love next year.”

Like Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk will remain in Tier 2.

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