Norfolk was 'very close' to being in Tier One, MP claims

Broadland Conservative MP Jerome Mayhew. Picture: Danielle Booden

Broadland Conservative MP Jerome Mayhew. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Norfolk was close to being put under the lowest restrictions against coronavirus after the lockdown is lifted, according to an MP.

Jerome Mayhew, who represents Broadland, said he was hugely disappointed that the county would be put into Tier 2, rather than Tier 1, from December 2.

The Conservative MP said: "I have spoken to the health minister this evening and learned that Norfolk was very close to being assessed as suitable for Tier 1 restrictions. With the tiers  being reassessed on December 16 the further we can drive down the infection rate, the greater the chance that we can move to Tier 1 before Christmas.

"We want to be in the lowest tier possible to maximise our freedoms and support as many businesses as possible while keeping infection rates low enough to enable our local hospitals to cope.

"Unfortunately, the latest data shows that we still need to be in Tier 2 to achieve this. While the overall trend in Norfolk is a downward one, we are not quite there yet. While it is enormously tempting to open up the economy more widely, particularly drinking-focussed pubs, a worse outcome would be for us to create a go/stop economy."

Mr Mayhew said that cycle could force the country into a January lockdown.

"As a former businessman I know that this would be even more damaging to our businesses, incurring operating costs and then being told to close," he added.

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Tier 2 of coronavirus restrictions mean Norfolk is rated as being on high alert  with a "higher or rapidly rising level of infections".

While shops will reopen, households will not be able to mix indoors and pubs will only be able to open if operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a "substantial meal".

Boris Johnson. Picture: PA Images

Prime minister Boris Johnson. - Credit: PA WIRE

During a

Tough new restrictions needed to prevent new year lockdown, prime minister warns

Coronavirus - Mon Nov 9, 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson has warned England is "not out of the woods yet" after backing tougher tiers to prevent a new year lockdown.

Mr Johnson was speaking at a Downing Street press conference on November 26, after the government announced which regions would be put into Tier 1, 2 or 3 after the national lockdown is lifted on December 2.

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will be in Tier 2 of coronavirus restrictions and means the counties are rated as being on high alert - areas with a "higher or rapidly rising level of infections".

The majority of England will be under Tier 2 meaning shops will reopen but households will not be able to mix indoors.

Pubs will only be able to open if operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a "substantial meal".

Mr Johnson said: "We have prevented our NHS from being overwhelmed but these dangers have not gone away. If we ease off we risk losing control of this virus again forcing us into a new year national lockdown. Most of England is in the top two tiers and tough measures. I know these bring heartache for our vital hospitality sector. I wish it were otherwise but if we are going to keep schools open, as we must, our options of bearing down on the disease are limited.

"These tough tiers strike a balance. There is no doubt that the restrictions in all tiers are tough and I'm sorry about that. The faster we drive the virus down the faster we drive down restrictions. Your tier is not your destiny. There are means to escape it. I have no doubt we will get through this winter and when vaccines come to our lives we can claim all the things we love.

"Until the vaccine is on stream, we are not out of the woods yet and have to be vigilant."

He added: "We are not abandoning the fight yet. The tiered approach was delivering in slowing the virus down [before the second lockdown]. That is why we are going for the tiered approach now."

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus. Photo: Pippa Fowles/Crown Copyright/10 Downing Street/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The prime minister hailed the success of the mass testing in Liverpool, which has moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 ad said that was down to people in that community  working together.

But he, along with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and and UK chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, he warned that people should use their common sense during the relaxed five-day break from restrictions this Christmas.

Sir Patrick said: "If we take the brakes off now the thing now the thing [virus] will get up and run,"

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: P

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Prof Whitty said: "The fact you can do something doesn't mean you should."

He praised the majority of people in England who had followed the restrictions so far and said there was no evidence people would stop following further restrictions.


on November 26, prime minister Boris Johnson said: "If we ease off we risk losing control of this virus again forcing us into a new year national lockdown. Most of England is in the top two tiers and tough measures. I know these bring heartache for our vital hospitality sector. I wish it were otherwise but if we are going to keep schools open, as we must, our options of bearing down on the disease are limited.


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