Posted: 26.11.20 at 12:54 by The Editor
The leader of Lincolnshire County Council says the government putting all of Lincolnshire into the highest level Tier 3 is a "big blow" for Lincolnshire and "doesn't make sense."
In a statement issued following the government's announcement of which tiers areas would be in, Coun Martin Hill also called for extra support for businesses.
"It's very disappointing that the whole of Lincolnshire has gone into Tier 3 as we are seeing infection rates fall, especially in those few districts that were previously causing concern – and this could have a crippling effect on our hospitality sector."
Coun Hill, who is also Chair of the Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board, said: "Although our figures have been high in some districts and lower elsewhere, there's a clear levelling off and drop in the numbers as the lockdown restrictions and the considerable efforts of our residents begin to take effect.
"While some of our districts have infection rates well below the England average, why should the whole of Lincolnshire go into Tier 3 for the sake of higher rates in some districts – it doesn't make sense.
He continued: "We'll need to discuss support for our businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector who will lose most of their trade. This is an important aspect of our economy and we will want to have a conversation about the additional support our businesses would need during this time.
"We appreciate that the furlough and other support is in place until 31 March but many of our businesses will only partially open and need the Christmas economy to survive given the nature of this year.
"As a minimum we will need additional discretionary business support grants so we can assist those most in need and look forward to a conversation about these details so our economy is not disadvantaged."
"It seems like a big blow for Lincolnshire, with our residents working with us all the way to bring down infection rates. Four of our districts have infection rates below the national average and I'm expecting the drop in those other areas to continue, which means we could soon be below the England average. We'll be looking to move out of Tier 3 as soon as possible if the picture continues to improve."
He added: "I must urge everyone to work with us to bring down our infection rates. Keep to the hands, face, space guidance, keep to the restrictions in place, so we can minimise the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
"If you develop any symptoms no matter how mild then please isolate yourself and book a test, and while you wait for the test and the result please continue isolating for the safety of others. We will work with everyone towards a better result in two weeks' time when the tiers are reviewed."