Why Suffolk is not moving to ‘High’ alert Covid status yet

PUBLISHED: 12:45 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:40 16 October 2020

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said there are

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said there are "no immediate plans" to move Suffolk into a higher Covid alert tier. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL


There are “no immediate plans” to introduce stricter Covid-19 restrictions in Suffolk, the Director of Public Health has confirmed.

Suffolk County Council has confirmed restrictions will not be changing, despite an increase in the most recent weekly case rate, where there were 47.15 cases per 100,000 people.

Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health Suffolk, said: “Suffolk continues to remain at ‘Medium’ Covid status. There are no immediate plans to seek any change.

“The situation is kept under review, based on the changes we see in case numbers day to day and week to week.”

Essex is moving in the ‘High’ alert bracket. There are currently 71.2 cases per 100,000 in the county and from Saturday Tier 2 restrictions will apply, meaning there will be no mixing of households indoors.

Suffolk remains in the lowest tier of the government's Covid restrictions, as Essex is moved to 'High' alert  Picture: ARCHANTSuffolk remains in the lowest tier of the government's Covid restrictions, as Essex is moved to 'High' alert Picture: ARCHANT

MORE: What Tier 2 restrictions mean for people in Essex

While the rate has slowly been increasing in Suffolk, it is still the lowest weekly Covid-19 case rate in the east of England.
In the last week, up to Monday, October 12, 84 of the cases were diagnosed in West Suffolk, 104 in East Suffolk, 62 in Ipswich, 49 in Mid Suffolk and 60 in Babergh.

Mr Keeble said it is essential people continue to follow the guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“To ensure we are able to maintain a relatively low number of positive cases in Suffolk we all really need to stick with the applied national guidance and local arrangements,” he said.

“We need to ensure we continue to clean our hands thoroughly, wear face coverings where guided to do so and maintain social distancing where it is in place.

“If we continue to keep to these straight-forward measures we can reduce the risk of spreading the symptoms.”

The highest case numbers in Suffolk are currently in the area of East Bergholt, Brantham and Capel St Mary which has recorded 16 cases.

MORE: How many coronavirus cases are there in your neighbourhood?

Gunton, in Lowestoft was the next highest with eight cases.

In a poll conducted by this newspaper, more than 60% of people said they thought a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown would be a good idea.

MORE: Nearly 75% of Brits back a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown - but does Suffolk agree?

The study received 965 votes as of 6am today, October 16, with 552 people backing Sir Keir Starmer’s suggestion that the government should introduce a short lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The poll is backed up by a new YouGov study which found that 68% of Brits would back a national lockdown.

Only 20% said they would oppose it.

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