The leader of the council area that currently has England’s lowest coronavirus infection rate has praised everyone for the part they have played – but has called for people to ‘behave’ after lockdown 2 ends.

The rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 for the seven days to November 20 has three of Devon’s districts in the lowest 10 of all 315 English areas.

The figures – which are based on Public Health England data – showed that Teignbridge had the lowest rate, 52.9 per 100,000, of anywhere.

Cllr Alan Connett, leader of Teignbridge District Council, said the figures were good to see for the area.

However, he has urged against complacency as the end of the second coronavirus lockdown approaches and England prepares to return to the three-tier restriction system.

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“Teignbridge has remained one of the lowest local authorities in terms of infection rates, and this is testament to our local residents and businesses and to everyone involved with ensuring we keep ourselves and our communities safe,” Cllr Connett said.

“However, we’re reaching a critical time in the coming weeks, where the end of lockdown signals an opening up of high streets, the hospitality industry and other businesses and premises.

Cllr Alan Connett

“We welcome this return, and the opportunity for our local economy to begin to recover from the enormous impact the pandemic has had on it this year, and for local people to spend locally and support local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

“However, we need to proceed with the utmost caution. We cannot put in jeopardy everything we have worked so hard to achieve.

“The end of lockdown should not be seen as a return to normal, but as an opportunity to practice the measures that have now become part of our routine – safe distancing, good hand hygiene and protecting ourselves and others through wearing face coverings.

“Local businesses have worked incredibly hard to ensure they are Covid secure and safe for the public to return to, and I’d encourage people to choose quieter times whenever possible to shop or use public venues, and to continue to exercise the vigilance that has kept our rates so low until now.

“We don’t yet know which Tier we will fall into when the lockdown is lifted, but we do know that however we behave in the days following December 2 will have an impact over Christmas, so it’s vitally important we keep up our guard.”





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