Rachel said:

“We now know from December 2nd Redditch, along with the rest of Worcestershire, will be in Tier 2 of the Government’s strengthened tier system. This decision will be reviewed every 14 days.

“The Health Secretary made it clear that thanks to everyone’s efforts in reducing the infection rate in Worcestershire by 18%, and due to hospital admissions stabilising, this was enough to avoid Tier 3. Sadly, our infection rate remained too high to be considered for Tier 1.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone working at the Alex and at our county’s hospitals for all they are doing during this pandemic. They have ensured everyone who needs treatment gets the help they need and ensured there is enough capacity in the system to cope with this second wave. We are forever indebted to them.

“I’m acutely aware many will be disappointed by this decision, especially businesses affected by the restrictions. Millions of pounds in support has already been handed out to businesses in our town, but I stand ready to continue supporting them by working with the council and the Government.

“I know continued restrictions will be tough, especially given the efforts we have already gone to this year, but we can’t relent now, we can’t let our guard down, we must continue to follow the rules in order to drive down the infection rate further.

“If you need a COVID test, please book in. If you are asked to self-isolate, then please do so we can break the chain of transmission. Please wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when required to and keep your distance from those who you do not live with.

“Thank you to everyone who is continuing to follow the rules and playing their part in this national effort to defeat this virus. We will get through this, and thanks to the vaccine developments, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”