The leader of Exeter City Council has urged residents that ‘today is not a day of freedom’ as the City exits lockdown and into Tier 2.

A new tiered approach – similar to what was seen in October – is instead being used to try and keep coronavirus in check, with Devon – including Plymouth and Torbay – placed in Tier 2 and Cornwall in Tier 1.

But Cllr Phil Bialyk, leader of the Exeter City Council, warned citizens that while cases in the city have been falling, there is still a lot to do, and that cases in the elderly population are still rising.

Speaking at Tuesday’s night Executive meeting, he said: “We all have to be careful and there is still a lot to do and it’s not over yet and that the Nightingale Hospital has opened is a reminder to us all that it is being used now and we mustn’t become complacent in trying to curb the coronavirus.

Council Leader Phil Bialyk

“It is not a day of freedom tomorrow but a day where we have to be very careful how we conduct ourselves. We are in Tier 2, and whatever we think of that, appropriate or otherwise, we have to follow the government guidance to keep Exeter safe. It is critical for the business that we do so.”

As of yesterday, Exeter’s case rate for the previous seven day period up until November 29 was 97.4 per 100,000 population, slightly higher than Devon’s average of 84.1, and the case rate in the over 60s was 129.9/100,000, with a rate of 268/100,000 in the over 80s.

High Alert Tier 2
High Alert Tier 2

The over 80s is the only age range though where cases in the city are still rising, but Cllr Bialyk added: “It is still climbing in the older generation and there is a capacity for it to increase.

“It has been a difficult time for all of us and whereas scotch eggs sales will no doubt increase remarkably over the next few days, we all have to be careful.”

Under Tier 2 guidance, households are still banned from mixing indoors, subject to the exemptions, but the ‘rule of six’ applies in all outdoor settings.

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