Effects of third lockdown starting to be felt in Bristol, says Mayor Marvin Rees

Bristol's Mayor said the effects of lockdown are starting to be felt, but people must stick to the rules.

The effects of the third lockdown are starting to be felt in Bristol, according to the city's Mayor Marvin Rees.

But he said it is vital people don't become "prematurely over-confident".

In a press conference on Wednesday 20 January, Marvin Rees said the city is in the "same challenging place" in terms of case numbers - but the infection rate is starting to fall.

The number of positive cases per 100,000 people is now 451 - a seven per cent drop on last week.

In spite of the slowly falling numbers, Mr Rees stressed hospitals in Bristol remain under "significant pressure" because of rising patient numbers and staff shortages.

According to Bristol City Council's latest figures, there are 404 covid patients in local hospitals.

His comments come a day after ITV West Country reported military personnel were were being brought into Bristol's hospitals to help ease pressure on NHS workers.

The army helping the Welsh ambulance service. Military personnel are now being brought in to ease pressure in the South West. Credit: PA

Speaking to journalists via Zoom, Mr Rees acknowledged frontline workers are not just facing the "mental health strains" of the pandemic, but many are falling ill with the virus or having to self-isolate.

It has since been confirmed military personnel are also being deployed to hospitals across the region, as the number of Covid-19 patients continues to rise.

When asked about the Government's decision to allow three households to mix on Christmas Day, the Mayor said: "I did say in the lead up that I was concerned about the inconsistencies going on. Us being put into Tier 2 rather than Tier 3 I think sent the wrong message.

"Then a week later being put into Tier 3, particularly after businesses had gone out and bought loads of products, particularly the hospitality sector, and then going into the Christmas relaxation and coming out into lockdown - in many ways what we need is certainty and predictability."

He added: "I am concerned that it happened and I concerned about the price we are paying for it, but I can understand Government, who wants to be known as the Government that cancels Christmas? I understand the dilemma they were in."

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