Tier 1 hopes strong as MP praises Suffolk’s management of coronavirus

Dr Dan Poulter MP. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Dan Poulter MP. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk MPs are ‘very hopeful’ that the county will enter Tier 1 in mid December thanks to successful contact tracing and the resilience of local business.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which recently published an interim report on the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said much of the government’s handling of the pandemic was based on a “false choice” between saving lives or saving jobs and the economy.

Dr Poulter said: “We have been lucky as having some of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country and I have been arguing we should be in Tier 1.

“This idea that there needs to be a choice to make between the economy and the virus, saving lives, is frankly not true.

Tom Hunt MP is also hopeful the county could move into Tier 1 restrictions come the first government review on December 16.

Tom Hunt MP is also hopeful the county could move into Tier 1 restrictions come the first government review on December 16. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“Looking at the data we see that the countries who have been the most successful in managing the pandemic from a public health perspective are now seeing economic growth, because they have suppressed the virus successfully.

“Businesses in Suffolk have been resilient thanks to our low infection rates.”

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Dr Poulter added that if the recent spike in cases in Ipswich can be brought under control he would be “very hopeful” to move into Tier 1 before Christmas.

Suffolk has continued to show lower infection rates compared with the rest of the country and the APPG has recommended handing over more control for test and trace schemes in the area to Suffolk County Council.

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said the change in restrictions would make a huge difference to the...

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said the change in restrictions would make a huge difference to the hospitality industry. Picture: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS - Credit: Archant

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has also expressed a strong desire to be placed in Tier 1 at the first government review and said the county must aim to reach that goal in a fortnight.

IPSWICH MP: Our target must be to reach Tier 1 in a fortnight

The APPG report has made several recommendations to the government and pointed out the success of local test and trace schemes with a success rate of up to 90% compared with government run operations with just 60%.

Dr Poulter said local authorities should be handed more control.

If the county is placed into the lowest tier of restrictions, the biggest change will be for the hospitality industry and Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams Brewery, said it would make an enormous difference.

“We would be delighted to go in to Tier 1 as it would safely allow us to celebrate the Christmas period, allowing families and friends to come together over a drink.

“The rule of six works very well for us and means we don’t have to ask awkward questions about households.”

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