Exeter leader: no ‘day of freedom’

But Scotch-egg sales may benefit as lockdown ends

The leader of Exeter City Council has reminded residents that the lifting of lockdown “is not a day of freedom” as the city moves into Tier 2 restrictions.

Cllr Phil Bialyk warned citizens that while coronavirus rates in the city have been falling, there is still a lot to do and that cases in the elderly population are still rising.

He told the council’s executive meeting: “We all have to be careful and there is still a lot to do and it’s not over yet. The Nightingale Hospital has opened is a reminder to us all that we mustn’t become complacent in trying to curb the coronavirus.

“It is not a day of freedom, but a day where we have to be very careful how we conduct ourselves. We are in Tier 2, and whatever we think of that, appropriate or otherwise, we have to follow the government guidance to keep Exeter safe. It is critical for the business that we do so.”

As of Tuesday, Exeter’s case rate for the previous seven days was 97 per 100,000 population, slightly higher than Devon’s average of 84. Amongst the over 60s it was 130/100,000, with a rate of 268/100,000 in the over 80s, the only age range in which cases are still rising. 

Cllr Bialyk added: “It is still climbing in the older generation and there is a capacity for it to increase. It has been a difficult time for all of us and whereas scotch eggs sales will no doubt increase remarkably over the next few days, we all have to be careful.”

Under Tier 2 guidance, households are still banned from mixing indoors, subject to the exemptions, but the ‘rule of six’ applies in all outdoor settings.

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