Bristol mayor expects the city to stay in Tier 3 despite fall in Covid cases

Marvin Rees speaking during a live broadcast on Facebook. Credit: Facebook / Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Bristol's Mayor, Marvin Rees, said he expects the city to remain in Tier 3 despite a "huge reduction" in coronavirus cases.

Speaking during a Facebook live on Wednesday 16 December Mr Rees said he believes all areas that are currently living under the toughest restrictions will continue to do so.

Today (Thursday 17 December) Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the decisions made during the Government's first review of the new restrictions.

Bristol's Mayor said: "We'd hoped to earn our way into Tier 2, but we suspect the Government will keep all areas in Tier 3 that are in Tier 3.

"Those are the only places where cases have been coming down and I think they'll try and keep the base numbers of Covid low as we go into the Christmas easing of restrictions."

Bristol's coronavirus infection rate is now below the national average.

Marvin Rees said as of 4pm yesterday (Wednesday 15 December), the city's rate of cases per 100,000 people was 115 - which was below England's average of 173 at that time.

This is a signifiant reduction from the situation in Bristol before England went into a second national lockdown on Thursday 5 November.

In the seven days to Friday 6 November, the coronavirus infection rate was 460 and the total number of confirmed cases in that week was 2133.

Compare that to the latest available data from Public Health England and in the seven days to Friday 11 December, there were 543 cases in a week.

Despite the drastic reduction, Mr Rees said the city's size and density of population meant people are "more likely to come into contact with another".

Talking about Christmas, and the upcoming easing of restrictions, the Mayor advised residents to "engage in Covid-safe behaviours" and "take responsibility".

He added: "While the guidance for Christmas makes more things permissible, that doesn't mean they are required.

"We will expect there will be an uptick in Covid after Christmas as a result of people mixing more."

In a press conference, Boris Johnson advised people to have a "little" Christmas. Credit: PA images

Mr Rees also said a rise in cases over Christmas could "underestimate our ability" to work out way out of the toughest tier of restrictions.

He went on to mention Bristol's access to lateral flow testing (rapid tests) which have been rolled out to The Bristol Port Company.

Workers there will be the first in the city receive the tests. The Mayor said he hopes the rollout will be extended in the new year.

The first coronavirus vaccinations are also being administered in Southmead Hospital.

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