Plymouth 'could be heading into tier three' as Covid cases continue to rise

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Covid cases in Plymouth continue to rise. Credit: ITV News

Plymouth City Council's director of public health has warned the city could be at risk of heading into tier three in the near future as cases continue to rise.

Covid cases have doubled in the past week, although this includes an outbreak of 150 cases on board a Royal Navy ship which was forced to return to the dockyard just before Christmas.

The latest figures do not yet include people infected over the Christmas period due to a delay in reporting the data.

Dr Ruth Harrell said: "Even without Christmas we will be expecting the figures to go up. There has been a trend over the last few weeks in the upward direction. Whether we see anything above that because of Christmas, I really don't know at the moment."

She added: "My concern is that the rates approximately seem to double every few weeks, so that takes us into a higher tier quite quickly.

"There are other things they take into account, but if we don't see that slowing down soon it looks as if a move up a tier might happen in the near future."

HMS Northumberland was forced to return to Plymouth. Credit: Royal Navy

The crew of HMS Northumberland was forced to return to Devonport and isolate over Christmas after "a number of suspected Covid cases" on board.

A navy spokesman said: "Following a number of suspected Covid cases onboard HMS Northumberland, the crew are now following health guidelines and protocols to isolate. The Royal Navy continues to meet all operational tasks over Christmas, as it has done throughout this pandemic."

There are understood to be around 150 positive cases on board the ship.

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