In response to the rising coronavirus infection rate in Redditch, Rachel said:

“Redditch continues to have the highest infection rate in Worcestershire, and this is cause for concern. With a rate of 344 per 100,000 people – that’s significantly higher than the England average of 243.

“The rate which is most concerning is in the over 60’s. In Redditch, this currently stands at 222 per 100,000. Sadly, as we know, people over the age of 60 are most likely to need hospital treatment.

“As I’ve said before, it’s right to point out that we haven’t yet seen the impact this second lockdown will have on the data available to us.

“When this lockdown expires in law in two weeks’ time, the Government intends to introduce a tier system once again. Where local areas are placed in the tier system will depend on the data. This is why I say our town’s infection rate is a cause for concern.

“None of us want to leave this lockdown to be placed straight back into tougher restrictions again. We must therefore all work together, as the vast majority have been doing, to drive down the infection rate in Redditch.

“I know a lot has already been asked of us all this year. We’ve not been able to see friends or family; businesses have been asked to close and the freedoms we enjoy have been taken away from us.  But the efforts we’ve gone to worked before and I’ve no doubt they will work again.

“We all know that Christmas won’t be the same this year, but like you, I wish for a Christmas as close to normal as possible. I know we will all want to see our family and friends at this special time of year.

“With this in mind, let’s continue to follow the rules, wash our hands regularly, wear a mask when required to, and keep at least one metre apart from those who we don’t live with. Together, we can drive down the infection rate and live as close to normal as possible until we have a safe vaccine rolled out.”