The parts of the South West now in Tier 3 as coronavirus cases continue to rise

Large parts of the South West are now in Tier 3.

Several parts of the South West are waking up to tougher coronavirus restrictions today.

Bristol, Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and Swindon have been escalated to 'Tier 3 - Very High Alert' as infection rates continue to rise.

In these areas pubs and restaurants must close unless they offer takeaways or deliveries.

Elsewhere in the region, Cornwall is moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 while South Gloucestershire remains in Tier 3.

The current infection rate in the South West is 145.7 cases per 100,000 people.

This is significantly lower than England's average, 354.9, but has risen from 82.7 since the end of England's second lockdown.

Current infection rates in new Tier 3 areas of the West Country

  • Bristol - 166.8 (risen from 129.9)

  • Somerset - 182.7 (risen from 125.4)

  • North Somerset - 187.9 (risen from 116.7)

  • Gloucestershire - 188.7 (risen from 140.8)

  • Swindon - 198.5 (risen from 139.1)

In Cornwall - now Tier 2 - the infection rate has tripled in a fortnight and stands at 79.6.

In South Gloucestershire cases continue to rise like the rest of the region. In the seven days to 20 December there were 192.6 confirmed cases of the virus per 100,000 people.

That's the highest it's been in a month.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new tier changes on 23 December. Credit: PA images

The tier changes were announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday 23 December amidst a backdrop of rising infection rates and hospital admissions.

Mr Hancock also expressed concern about a new and more contagious strain of Covid-19.

In Tier 3 areas non-essential retail and gyms can remain open, but most other non-essential businesses like pubs, cinemas, restaurants and theatres must close.

What you can and can't do in Tier 3. Credit: UK Government

Also in Tier 3 areas, no household mixing is allowed unless it's in an outdoor public space.

In Tier 2, which now applies to Cornwall, hospitality venues must close unless they serve 'substantial meals' with drinks.

The Isles of Scilly is the only area in England remaining in Tier 1.

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