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Cornwall seeks urgent action from Government amidst rising Covid cases

Cornwall Council is calling on the Government to immediately introduce a national lockdown in the face of rising Covid-19 infection rates, to protect residents and the NHS.

In the week following Christmas, the rate of infection in Cornwall has risen dramatically, with a 91% increase in the number of positive tests in just seven days.

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In the last week there were 233.8 cases per 100,000, which is almost ten times higher than the numbers seen a month ago.

Cornwall’s business leaders have supported the call saying that swift action is vital to minimise disruption and protect Cornwall’s economy in the longer term.

Education unions and teaching bodies have also raised concerns about schools reopening and have called for a more delayed approach. 

Senior Government figures have already acknowledged tighter restrictions are inevitable, but no timescale has yet been given for any changes.  A statement is due to be made by the Prime Minister this evening. 

Cornwall has already switched from Tier one to Tier three restrictions over the festive period.

Cllr Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “No one wants to see additional restrictions placed on our daily lives, but the figures are stark, and, unless we take action immediately, they are only going to get worse.

“We have seen around the rest of the country that Tier three restrictions have not slowed down the virus’s spread, and further action needs to be taken.

“It is clear from the national picture that a country-wide lockdown is now inevitable, and I can see no sensible reason to delay its introduction.

“We have consulted with local business leaders, and while no-one welcomes tighter restrictions, they would prefer to see swift action now, rather than a delayed response which will make the problem worse and cause more disruption in the long term.

“We simply cannot sit and wait, these are difficult decisions, but they need to be taken swiftly for the benefit of all.”

Cllr Sally Hawken, the council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for public health, said: “Speaking to our Director of Public Health and reviewing the latest data, it is clear that now is the time for action.

“We need to go into lockdown immediately to help tackle the spread of the virus, and to ensure our health services do not get overwhelmed.

“We have already seen a rapid increase in the number of people in hospital with Covid symptoms, and unless we take action now, the situation will worsen quickly.

“There is also growing anxiety amongst parents concerned about sending their children to school against a backdrop of rising numbers in our communities. 

“We need to take swift action now to reduce the impact the virus will have on Cornwall, rather than wait and make the problems even worse.”