A leading Nottinghamshire councillor has expressed his disappointment as it is announced that the county is being placed under tier three restrictions.

It was announced this week that Nottinghamshire would return to the highest level of restrictions when the national lockdown ends on December 2.

It was previously hoped that Nottinghamshire would avoid being placed back into the same level of restrictions as before the lockdown began on November 6, thanks to rapidly falling rates of infection across the county.

Councillor David Mellen, leader of the city council, said: “It is very disappointing to hear that Nottinghamshire will be under tier three restrictions.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard as a community to reduce our infection rates and they are now below national average.

“We’ve had 40 plus days of reductions in infection rates in Nottingham and I do not feel that the government’s decision to place us into tier three accurately reflects these facts.”

Under the restrictions, hospitality venues such as pubs and bars will have to remain closed and restaurants will only be allowed to operate takeaway and delivery services.

Retail outlets will be allowed to reopen.

Cllr Mellen said: “ I particularly feel for hospitality businesses who have worked hard to make their premises covid safe won’t be allowed to open normally.

Despite his disappointment given falling rates of infection, the leader of the council urged caution so that restrictions can be eased at the earliest opportunity.

The government promised to review the restrictions on a fortnightly basis.

He added: “I urge the people of Nottingham to continue to keep themselves safe so that in a fortnight’s time we can be considered for a lower tier of restrictions.

“We need to continue to follow the restrictions to ensure our hospitals are not overwhelmed before a vaccine is available.”

Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health, Nottingham, said: “It is vital that we all follow the new rules and work together to slow the spread of the virus in our communities.

“People in Nottingham have worked hard to reduce rates of covid-19 and we have seen cases in the city fall below the national average.

“There is good news about the rollout of vaccines but it’s going to be a while before whole populations are protected from the virus.

“In the meantime, our health and care services continue to experience severe pressures.”

For more information on restrictions visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/care/coronavirus