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Devon to remain in Tier 2. More government support is needed for local businesses.

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Devon is remaining in Tier 2 for the time being, the government has confirmed today.

It has reviewed the three-tier structure and decided that because of our circumstances – including case numbers, their demographic, pressure on NHS services – we will stay in Tier 2 until its next review at the end of the year.

That means:
• No household mixing indoors
• Rule of six applies outdoors
• Pubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm
• Alcohol only served as part of a substantial meal
• Spectators allowed at sports events and live performances, in limited numbers
• Personal care, including hairdressing allowed

Devon County Council leader John Hart chairs the county’s multi-agency Local Outbreak Engagement Board. He said:

“I’m afraid this is the right decision because of the number of positive cases in Devon right now – especially among our older residents – and the huge pressure on our NHS services.

“But if we are to accept these restrictions continuing into the New Year, the Government must act swiftly with more support for local businesses.

“When we went into Tier 2, I called for action and I am renewing that call today.

“Every day I am hearing from businesses which are being severely affected and many of our local hospitality companies are on their knees. The Government must do more to help them survive otherwise many of these companies – which are the lifeblood of Devon’s economy – won’t be here in the New Year.”

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon (Designate) said:

“We had been seeing our case numbers falling due to the recent national lock down, but that fall has slowed and has now levelled off since we adopted Tier 2 restrictions. I do not believe that we are ready yet to relax our restrictions to the lower tier, especially as we head into Christmas, and the likelihood – although I would advise people think really hard about doing so – of families and friends meeting up in Christmas bubble arrangements.”