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Coronavirus: Plymouth 'at risk of moving to Tier 2 within days'

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image captionThe number of cases in the city is rising rapidly

The number of coronavirus cases in Plymouth is rising more quickly than at any other time in the pandemic, health bosses have warned.

The city's director of public health. Dr Ruth Harrell, warned that if cases continued to rise at the "current rapid rate", Plymouth could become a Tier 2 area "within days".

She is calling for a city-wide effort to stop this from happening.

"We really need to reduce our face-to-face social interactions," she said.

Figures show the number of cases in Plymouth increased by 350 in a week, meaning there are now 138 cases per 100,000 residents, which is above the average for the South West.

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Dr Harrell said: "Until recently we have enjoyed a relatively low number of cases compared to other parts of the country but we are now seeing the numbers rise rapidly.

"This is very worrying and if the rise continues at the current rate we are only weeks, or possibly days, away from being designated a high-risk area, which would mean more restrictions for families and businesses."

Dr Harrell said the increase was not due to one or two big outbreaks and cases were not limited to any one age group or area of the city.

"I would urge everyone to take a stock check and think about whether they are doing everything they need to and to talk to family and friends about it as well," she said.

City council leader Tudor Evans said Plymouth was "not far from becoming a high-alert area".

He added: "No-one wants further restrictions to be put in place but that's what we are facing unless we can turn this round."

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