Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions.
People in the region, along with those in the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight, will be living under Tier 1 measures – which allow socialising inside homes and pubs subject to the Rule of Six – after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2.
But nearly 99 per cent of England will be in the toughest two levels next week, according to the breakdown released today.
Tier 3 will be brought in for huge swathes of the country including the bulk of the North, much of the Midlands, all of Kent, and Bristol – putting a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and clubs now forced to close except for takeaway.
Soon after the announcement, worried Cornish residents took to Twitter and local media to warn people from other parts of the country to stay away.
One wrote that it was ‘beyond stupid’ because ‘people from high rate areas will descend’ on the region, prompting another to reply, ‘God help Cornwall’.
Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions
Another concerned woman wrote, ‘with Cornwall being one of three places on the lowest tier, please don’t think it’s ok to come here if you’re in the highest tiers because it’s really not.’
A third asked other Britons, ‘don’t all come to Cornwall now please just let us have our moment.’
A fourth Twitter user claimed putting Cornwall into Tier 1 was ‘asking for trouble’ and there would be ‘tourists inbound’.
Another resident demanded, ‘everyone stay away from Cornwall please, we’re ok on our own down here!
And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere.
One said that while people in the region should feel ‘very fortunate’ to be in Tier 1, they hoped people from other tiers ‘treat that with the respect it deserves.’
They added: ‘Other than masks, the rule of six, self-isolation, etc we’re pretty much back to a normal life or as much as a normal life can be.
‘We as individuals now control our destiny in terms of can we keep ourselves in Tier 1 or will peoples actions result in moving up a Tier.’
Isle of Wight pub owner delighted with Tier 1 news
Victoria Calder, who runs the Anchor and the Pier View in Cowes, and the Lifeboat in East Cowes, told MailOnline: ‘It’s excellent news and we’re very pleased indeed.
‘There’s quite a lot of regulars who come in the day and just like to have a drink and would have been disappointed if they couldn’t do that.
#Also in Tier 2 you can’t mix households, which is not good with Christmas party season coming up, but since the announcement this morning we’ve had the phone ringing constantly.’
Asked if she thought it was right for the Island to be in Tier 1, she said: ‘Definitely. Because we are way lower than the rest of the country and I think most people are being very careful.’
Another resident added: ‘Cornwall is the only mainland place in the country that is in tier 1.
‘Wonder how long that will last if the tier above are allowed to travel in and stay?
‘I am sure if people do visit, they will all observe the guidance and follow the rules of their own tier!’
West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘Cornwall in Tier 1
‘As I predicted Cornwall has just been announced as being in Tier 1 of covid restrictions.
‘Thank you to everyone for doing your bit!
‘Thank you to everyone for doing your bit! This is the best possible outcome both for our businesses and families.
‘Please let’s work to keep it this way!’
Despite his positive tone, things are looking bleaker for the rest of the country.
Although London and Liverpool were spared the harshest Tier 3 in small glimmers of light, just 700,000 people – one per cent of the population – will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions.
Most of England will be banned from mixing indoors with other households, apart from five days over Christmas. Pubs in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with ‘substantial’ meals.
Tory rebel ringleader Steve Baker warned that the government must explain how it is balancing the economic harm with public health.
‘The authoritarianism at work today is truly appalling. But is it necessary and proportionate to the threat from this disease?’ he tweeted.
‘On the economy and on coronavirus, I fear we are now so far down the rabbit hole that we have forgotten we even entered it.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock formally unveiled the breakdown of areas in the Commons after days of wrangling, saying the country has to stay ‘vigilant’.
He also defended the criteria being used amid complaints that they are too vague and amount to ‘finger in the air’.
And he immediately signalled a retreat on the fortnightly reviews, suggesting that in fact the tiers could be rethought weekly.
Amid shambolic scenes the government had set an online postcode checker live before the statement.
As residents, journalists and MPs scrambled to gather the news on what decisions had been taken, the website then promptly crashed under the weight of traffic.
Tier 3 means that millions of people face a ban on households mixing indoors and outdoors, and pubs will be only be able to provide takeaway service or must close altogether.
And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere
The revised Tier 2 restrictions shut pubs unless they serve meals and order people not to meet other households indoors.
Some 23million people will be in that category from next Wednesday, and 32million are in Tier 2.
London was spared after data showed coronavirus falling quickly in more than two-thirds of boroughs – and seemingly stalling in the rest.
Liverpool has also run a successful campaign to control its outbreak after mass testing in the city.
Mr Hancock pointed out that his own Suffolk constituency was going into Tier 2 despite having some of the lowest infection rates.
In a nod to anger on the Tory benches, he said he knew that many other places would prefer to be in the lowest bracket.
West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news
The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said
And he rejected criticism that there are no specific thresholds for putting areas into the levels.
Mr Hancock told MPs: ‘The indicators have been designed to give the government a picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken.
‘These key indicators need to be viewed in the context of how they interact with each other as well as the wider context but provide an important framework for decision making – assessing the underlying prevalence in addition to how the spread of the disease is changing in areas.
‘Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators.’
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth demanded that the government publishes a ‘scorecard’ showing exactly how each area measured against its criteria for deciding Tiers.
In the Commons, Conservative MP Greg Smith said he was ‘incredibly disappointed’ his Buckingham constituency was placed in Tier 2.
He said: ‘It’s incredibly disappointing news that Buckinghamshire having entered the national lockdown in Tier 1 will emerge from the national lockdown into the more punitive restrictions of Tier 2.
‘A decision that will be hard to understand in the rural communities of north Buckinghamshire that have relatively low infection rates and a decision that will be hard to understand given that there has been zero consultation between central government and Buckinghamshire Council and our local NHS.’
Tory MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy urged the Government to review the situation every week, rather than once a fortnight.
Mr Hancock appeared to concede that should happen.
‘We will review these in a fortnight, and then regularly, by which he can reasonably take weekly,’ he said.
‘And we will have a weekly cycle of meetings with the CMO chairing a meeting typically on a Tuesday, I then chair the meeting on a Wednesday for an announcement on Thursday for any change to the tiers.’
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham criticised the lack of business support available to Tier 3 areas, and said he wanted the region moved down before Christmas if it continued to make progress.
He said: ‘Greater Manchester’s infection rate is reducing faster than any other part of the country but we have to accept that it is still significantly higher than the England average.
‘That said, if the current rate of improvement continues, we will be asking the Government to move our city-region into Tier 2 in two weeks’ time.
‘What we believe is completely wrong is the Government’s decision to provide no additional business support to areas in Tier 3 than those in Tiers 1 and 2.
‘The new Tier 3 will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning.
‘This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.’
Conservative mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street tweeted: ‘Tier 3 for the WM is very disappointing, but we must now focus on getting out ASAP.
‘The trajectory is good, and our stay should be short-lived if people stick to the rules.
‘However more support is needed whilst in T3, particularly for the hospitality and live events sectors.’
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis warned that ‘lockdown must not become limbo’.
Mr Jarvis, who is also Labour MP for Barnsley Central, said: ‘I welcome Government plans to review our tier arrangements every two weeks, because every extra day we are under restrictions could be the difference between a business surviving the pandemic or going under.
‘It is now essential we get a roadmap to get us out of Tier 3 as a matter of urgency.’
He said: ‘We need absolute clarity and consistency from the government about the criteria for areas moving between the Tiers. We need a test and trace system that is fit for purpose and we need clear communications
‘There is light at the end of the tunnel. In South Yorkshire the rate of new infections, and more importantly the number of older people in hospital with the virus, is moving in the right direction.
‘We’ve been under tighter restrictions in South Yorkshire since October 24, and they are slowly suffocating businesses, particularly in the hospitality and events sectors. They are now being hit again just as they enter their busiest time of year.’
Mr Jarvis added: ‘It’s deeply concerning that the government yet again excluded mayors and local leaders from the decision-making process around the new Tiering arrangements.’
Earlier, Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted people will ‘see a difference’ when England’s national lockdown ends next week. He told Sky News today: ‘Whichever tier you’re in I think people will see a tangible change.
‘That said, things are obviously not normal and I can’t pretend that next week things are going to feel like they were before the spring.’
New coronavirus tiers: which one is your home in?
TIER THREE: VERY HIGH
Tees Valley Combined Authority:
Redcar and Cleveland
North East Combined Authority:
Newcastle upon Tyne
Blackburn with Darwen
Yorkshire and The Humber
Birmingham and Black Country
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Derby and Derbyshire
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Leicester and Leicestershire
Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)
Kent and Medway
TIER 2: HIGH
Liverpool City Region
Warrington and Cheshire
Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
East of England
Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
All 32 boroughs plus the City of London
Brighton and Hove
Windsor and Maidenhead
Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
Bath and North East Somerset
Wiltshire and Swindon
TIER 1: MEDIUM
Isle of Wight
Isles of Scilly
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk