NEWS that Birmingham and Solihull are to remain in Tier 3 for Covid 19 restrictions have been met with dismay.
Solihull Council Leader Councillor Ian Courts said: “I am bitterly disappointed.
“I’ve fought long and hard to make the case for Solihull to be in Tier 2, at the most. But the various measures and data used to determine these tier levels are against us.
“However, the fact that we have been grouped with Coventry and Warwickshire is a very important change to the Government’s approach to determining who should go in which tier, and it could give us a route to a more rapid sub-regional exit from Tier 3.
Addressing the people of Solihull, he said: “I know we can continue to count on your support under these new restrictions. And I hope you accept that they are being put in place to protect us all, the vulnerable members of our community and our NHS in particular.
“Despite this setback we must continue doing the right things for Solihull, the social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing that has helped us reduce Covid case numbers and the number of our people tragically losing their lives to this virus.”
The Tier 3 rules mean that from December 2 groups of people cannot meet socially indoors or in private gardens.
It also sees the re-emergence of the ‘Rule of 6’ which means people can socialise with up to six in some outdoor public spaces, including parks, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or a sports facility.
Coun Courts added: “One part of the new arrangements to be applauded is that from December 2 non-essential shops can re-open and our centres can welcome back shoppers.
“Similarly, leisure centres, gyms and pools can open as long as they take the necessary precautions.
“I recognise the hospitality industry faces a tough time under Tier 3, as pubs and restaurants must close or only offer takeaways and click and collects. This was one of the reason why I fought so hard for Tier 2.
“Let’s support our important town centre businesses where we can, but follow the rules to get the R rate down so we can make the case for being in Tier 2 as soon as possible.”
He added that the borough council would continue to offer whatever support it can to individuals and businesses.
The Government will review the tiers every two weeks with the next one on December 16.