People in Lichfield and Burntwood need to continue working together to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the leader of Staffordshire County Council has said.
The area moves into Tier 3 today (2nd December) following the end of the national lockdown.
News of a COVID-19 vaccine being approved this morning has given hope for an eventual end to the crisis.
But the short-term picture remains unchanged with people across Staffordshire facing the toughest restrictions for at least two weeks.
Under the new measures, pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be able to operate as takeaways.
Cllr Alan White, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said it was important people followed the new rules in order to ensure a move into Tier 2 when the Government reviews the infection rates.
“As a county council, we are doing everything in our powers to continue to bring the number of cases down and protect lives and livelihoods.
“Our goal is to persuade the Government to ease restrictions and move us down from Very High Alert as quickly as possible, so people can get back more of the freedoms they once enjoyed.
“The best way to do this, is for everyone to stick to the rules and get tested if they have symptoms or are asked to do so.”Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire is one of 66 local authorities to take part in the roll out of rapid testing for people without symptoms – with up to 10% of the population eventually set to be tested every week.
Dr Richard Harling, director of health and care, said:
“Identifying more people who have the virus, so they can self-isolate, will help us reduce the spread of infection.
“So, if you have symptoms or are asked to get tested because you live in a Covid hotspot where cases are increasing, then it is important that you do so.
“We also all need to remember the basics of washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering and keeping our distance.
“All are simple steps, which together can make all the difference.”Dr Richard Harling