As Covid-19 cases fall should Kingsbridge join Cornwall in Tier 1?

Business owners say 'enough's enough'. Credit: ITV News West Country

With less than 24 hours until the government reviews the nationwide tier restrictions, businesses in Devon believe the county should move into Tier 1 with Cornwall.

The number of coronavirus cases in Kingsbridge are some of the lowest in the country and have remained consistently low over the past few weeks.

Between December 3 and December 10, the number of Covid-19 cases in South Hams was 26. That is down by eight from the previous week and puts the rolling rate of infection in the area at 29.9 per 100,000. This is considerably lower than the national average, the majority of Devon, and similar to Cornwall's rates.

In Cornwall cases continue to fall. In the same time frame the number of confirmed cases there was 118 - down by 30 from the previous week. The rate of infection there is 20.6 per 100,000.

For Devon as a whole the rate of infection is 79.9 per 100,000.

This is why many businesses in the hospitality sector hope South Hams moves under Tier 1 restrictions when they are reviewed.

Simon Harrow owns the Harrow restaurant. He said: "It's been low throughout and it continues to be low and we need business. You can't run a business and not have any business and expect everything to just bounce back. Enough's enough."

Rikesh Gheravada owns a healthcare shop in the town. He said: "Round here we have done a fantastic job, following the guidelines, doing what we're told and so I feel we should be in Tier 1. The number of cases here have been very low so we should be in Tier 1."

Some people in the town also agree:

In November the majority of the West Country was placed under Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions. Devon fell under Tier 2 while Cornwall was the only place in region, and the only mainland place in the country to under Tier 1.

There is considerable variation in the level of rates among the different regions of England. There are a number of local areas currently in Tier 3 where rates have dropped steeply – and areas in Tier 2 where they have risen sharply.

The Government has already announced that London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire are moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 from 12.01am on December 16. Other changes could be announced tomorrow following a review of the current system of tiers.

Read more: