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Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said:

“Following yesterday’s announcement, Stevenage and the rest of Hertfordshire will be in Tier 2: High Alert, in the Government's new system to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. This will come into effect, following a vote in Parliament, at the end of the current lockdown at 00:01 on 2 December.

We recognise that people will be disappointed that we went into lock down in Tier 1 and have come out in Tier 2, particularly as Stevenage has had relatively low levels of Covid. It has been explained by the regional health team that the geography of the area is taken into account and where people are regularly moving between areas with higher and lower Covid rates, it is the higher rates that determine the Tier allocation. We know this continues to be a very testing time for our local community and business, and we will be doing all we can to support the town and keeping Covid cases as low as possible, and making the case to government for funding for local services and businesses. Any businesses that have not yet contacted us to see if you are eligible for a support grant are encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible.

We continue to face some challenging times in the weeks ahead. Being in this ‘High Alert’ category means we all need to keep playing our part in tackling the pandemic. This includes restrictions on socialising with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, and restrictions for hospitality businesses. The restrictions are being reviewed on a fortnightly basis and when the criteria indicate, we will be able to move back to Tier 1 restrictions, let us hope that if we all play our part that will be sooner rather than later. We are regularly posting the latest information about the pandemic on our website, including responses to your frequently asked questions.

It is clear this will go on into the New Year and possibly beyond. Our business community and residents are finding the changing restrictions challenging and at times difficult, but we need to do what we can to protect each other and those who are vulnerable. We will continue to support our NHS colleagues who are doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. We have all been given hope by announcements about vaccines in recent days and now we all need to follow the guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading the virus until the vaccine is widely available”.

You can download a poster outlining the various tiers of restriction from the website