Cambridgeshire will enter tier 2 restrictions when national lockdown ends on December 2ndLucas Maddalena

The Health Secretary released plans for England’s tougher tiers to the House of Commons earlier today (26/11), as the end of the November lockdown draws closer. Cambridgeshire, like the majority of counties, will be placed under Tier 2 restrictions from Wednesday (02/12).

The ‘High’ Tier 2 restrictions permits the reopening of restaurants, with pubs only able to open if they are operating as restaurants. Museums, theatres, hairdressers and churches will also be permitted to receive visitors. Gyms will reopen but with organised indoor sport ‘only be[ing] permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing,’ according to the government’s website.

However, Tier 2 limits the mixing of households to outdoors only, where the rule of six will apply.

Daniel Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge, said in a statement seen by Varsity that “the threat from the virus remains very real and it will be important that everyone in the city takes care to protect one another.” He also called on the government to provide “an appropriate package alongside to provide economic support” for businesses that will be impacted by the additional restrictions.

Cambridgeshire had previously been in tier one, the lowest tier, but saw a rise of cases in early November. Since then, the number of cases per 100,000 across the county has decreased, with the most significant decrease being in Cambridge. The rate of infection in Peterborough remains the highest of the six council areas at 207.7 per 100,000 (for the week ending 21/11).

Most counties have been placed under tier two restrictions; 55 million people across the country will be in tiers two and three, with 23 million in the highest tier. Only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, and Isles of Scilly, remain in tier one.

Nick Triggle, the BBC’s Health Correspondent, considers the restrictions to be ‘only a gradual step out of lockdown.’ Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that the picture in Cambridgeshire was ‘improving,’ but that cases were ‘still high.’

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said in a written statement that “Our infection rates are stabilising or coming down across most areas, so we do know how to respond to this pandemic. We have good plans in place to continue to drive down our infection rates.”


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She also noted that “it is vitally important that we now work as hard as we can to reduce our rate of infection [...] This means reducing contact with anyone you don’t live with, working from home where ever possible.”

The announcement of plans for Cambridge to enter tier 2 follows the release of the University’s latest data from their asymptomatic screening programme, which recorded the lowest number of cases last week since the first week of the programme. Between the 16th and 22nd of November, 52 cases were identified, a sharp decline from 234 the previous week.

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