The Government has justified their decision to plunge Derbyshire into Tier Three, the harshest restrictions, when lockdown is lifted.
Chesterfield and the whole of Derbyshire will be placed under the strictest coronavirus measures when the national shutdown ends on December 2, which prevents households from meeting indoors and in most outdoor public settings.
The government said that despite there being an ‘improvement’ in the number of virus cases across the county, infections were still ‘very high’.
“There has been improvement in this area, but case rates remain very high at 275 per 100,000, and in those over 60 it is 220 per 100,000.
"The pressure on the local NHS remains high.”
It comes after Derbyshire County Council wrote an urgent letter to 10 Downing Street, signed by all the county’s district and borough council leaders, urging the Prime Minister to put the region into Tier Two instead of Tier Three.
The county’s director of public health Dean Wallace has urged residents to continue to wash their hands, social distance and wear a face covering as he warns there will be no ‘Christmas truce’ from Covid-19.
“After the year we’ve had I’m sure we’re all really looking forward to celebrating Christmas.
“But the virus hasn’t gone away so Christmas is going to look very different this year and I’d urge people not to let their guard down.
“We have to do everything we can to drive infection rates across the county down – including washing our hands, staying apart and wearing a face covering – so that hopefully we can move into a lower alert level.
“We all want to celebrate Christmas safely so it is more important than ever that we all continue to do everything we can to protect our friends and family by sticking to the rules.
“And even though we’ve been given an opportunity to spend time with the people that we love we have to remember that there will be no ‘Christmas truce’ from this deadly virus which will keep on spreading.
“This virus thrives on people being together, so we must all think carefully about the risks of forming bubbles with our elderly and vulnerable relatives – and consider if it is a risk worth taking.”
The new rules prevent pubs and restaurants from welcoming back customers, as they are now only permitted to operate as a takeaway or delivery service.
People can still meet in groups of six in outdoor settings such as parks but casinos, museums, theme parks and theatres will remain shut.
Hairdressers in ‘very high’ level areas are allowed to reopen but travelling in and out of Derbyshire is discouraged in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has hit back at Health Secretary Matt Hancock as he confirmed that Cornwall, Isle of Wight and Suffolk would be the only three areas across the country under ‘medium’ restrictions.
The Labour representative tweeted:
“The suggestion by Matt Hancock that the reason that Cornwall, Isle of Wight and Suffolk are lower than rest of England is because their residents have been more responsible is deeply offensive.”