Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the fall in Worcestershire’s infection rate that has allowed the city to remain in Tier 2, whilst other areas have moved up to tier 3, but the MP has also warned that the situation will worsen if people aren’t careful over the Christmas and New Year period. He has expressed the hope that if people continue to take sensible precautions, Worcester could reach the lowest tier early in the New Year.

As of Monday infection rates across Worcestershire had fallen by 55% since mid-November but with a countywide average of 92 cases per 100,000 of the population the rate and the number of people in hospital suffering from Covid are still too high to enable a drop to Tier 1.

The West Midlands is broken down into six separate areas to allow targeted restrictions to be enforced in response to local case data with Worcester residents facing the same restrictions as the rest of Worcestershire county. Neighbouring Herefordshire has become the first county to move down from tier 2 to tier 1 but more areas, particularly in the South East of England have moved up into tier 3.

“The direction of travel is positive and I am grateful to residents who came out of lockdown with care and resumed supporting local businesses in a Covid secure way. Today’s announcement is not a cause to reduce the measures we are taking to stop the spread of the virus, but to continue following the guidance and go further where possible. I want Worcestershire to be able to safely move to the lowest tier of restrictions but in the meantime we must continue to support those businesses most affected so I welcome the further extension of furlough announced today.

“I am also grateful to the government who have continued to support residents and businesses with their £330 billion package of measures, the like of which has never been seen before.

“Understandably businesses and residents are keen to return to normality and moving to Tier 1 would have been the perfect Christmas present. Herefordshire moved into Tier 1 today which gives residents across Worcestershire additional motivation to have restrictions eased. This will only happen when data demonstrates that it is safe to do so, meaning it’s vital that we stay alert over the festive period and keep driving the number of cases down.”