Image Credit: UK Prime Minister (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Politicians have had their say on how Nottinghamshire would fare under a more accurately divided COVID tier system.

This comes after MPs in Kent lost their battle to implement the coronavirus restrictions on a borough or district level.

Their plea to the government has sparked national debate over the fairness of tarnishing entire counties with the same brush.

Image credit: David Woolfall (CC3Y3.0)

 

But Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards has continued to back the necessity of county-wide restrictions, despite areas in her constituency having low case rates.

She said: “While parts of Rushcliffe have relatively low infection rates compared to Nottingham and other Tier 3 areas the Department of Health must consider; travel in and out of each area and pressure on local hospitals.

“Many people in Rushcliffe travel to Nottingham or other parts of the county regularly and there are currently 30% more patients in Nottingham’s hospitals than during the peak of the first lockdown.

“There are also high levels of cases amongst the over 65’s, which is the age group most likely to need hospital treatment.

“As we continue to see a county-wide decline in cases, I hope we can move down a tier together soon.”

Her comments come as the village of Ruddington recorded the lowest infection rate in the county in November, with just 50.9 cases per 100,000 people well below the national average.

But the desire to keep tiers at a county level has been continually backed by local authorities in Nottinghamshire.

Speaking to the Nottingham Post during the November national lockdown, Jonathan Gribbin, director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire said he believed that a hyper-localised approach would be ineffective.

He said: “It’s really not possible in a county area like Nottinghamshire to identify a single area that we can safely treat or regard as an island that won’t be impacted by high rates in areas around it.

“I’m looking forward to measures coming in which deal with areas as a whole and broadly rather than an approach that imagines it’s possible to keep some sort of safe island as low rates.”

The government introduced the tiered system 14 October in an attempt to curb rising infection rates.

Nottinghamshire will remain in Tier 3 until the government review on December 16.