Cumbria will stay in Tier 2 as new restrictions across the country from Boxing Day were announced by the Government this afternoon.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock led a Downing Street briefing at 3pm, flanked by medical advisers.
He said: “After all the efforts we have gone through to control this virus…..we’ve discovered a new variant that is spreading at a dangerous rate.”
There are almost as many people in hospital nationally then there was at the peak.
He said Tier 3 was not enough to control the new variant.
Parts of South East and South West England will go into Tier 4.
The latest report from Cumbria County Council, issued today, said:
- There were 741 new cases in Cumbria (an increase of 254, +52%, from 487 cases in the previous week)
- Carlisle overtook South Lakeland in having the greatest number of new cases (+201 new cases)
- Eden overtook South Lakeland in having the highest rate of new cases (295 new cases per 100k population)
- Eden, Carlisle and South Lakeland’s rates were all above the regional average rate (North West = 176 new cases per 100k population);
- New cases increased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts except Barrow-in-Furness, the biggest proportional increase was in Eden (+171%).
- There have been increases new cases in all age groups over the last week.
As part of the report, Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, said: “The situation is now changing very rapidly, but this data up to the end of last week shows cases very clearly rising again in the county and we know that increase is continuing through this week.
“Only Barrow has seen cases dropping.
“We suspect that some of this increase is being driven by the new, more infectious, variant of the COVID-19 virus.
“There’s no evidence that it’s more dangerous, but it does infect many more people and that’s a real worry, both for individuals and for our hospitals which are already dealing with high numbers of COVID patients.”