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Covid restrictions: 'Disappointment' that Devon is in tier two

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image captionThe Blue Anchor in Teignmouth will not be able to reopen because it does not serve food

Publicans and politicians have said they are "disappointed" that all of Devon will be placed in Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the announcement to place the county in the "High alert" category on Thursday.

The restrictions mean households cannot mix indoors, and pubs can only serve alcohol with substantive meals.

Plymouth MP Luke Pollard said: "We must not spend a moment longer in tier two than we have to."

He wants the restrictions, which start on 2 December, to be reviewed in two weeks and said "our city's hospitality businesses face a grim future".

He believes Plymouth, Devon and Torbay Councils should be "dealt with as separate areas and not lumped together".

The government said the reason for the tier rating is an infection rate of 121 per 100,000 in Devon, and said "there is pressure at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital".

The Blue Anchor in Teignmouth is one pub that will not be able to reopen because they do not serve food.

On Facebook they said "we are feeling pretty disheartened" describing the strategy as "like expelling a whole school because one kid has done something wrong. It's lazy".

Teignbridge has the lowest infection rate in England - of 52.9 per 100,000.

This is lower than in Tier 1 Cornwall, where it is 62.4 per 100,000.

The town's MP Anne Marie Morris said: "I am very unhappy - this is not the right decision for Teignbridge.

"The rate of infection is so low, how can this be justified?"

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Alan Connett, leader of Teignbridge Council said: "I'm hugely disappointed for us in Teignbridge and even more saddened for businesses, and in particular we have wet only pubs who will be viewing this in desperation".

Michelle Chambers, the landlady of the Dolphin pub in Plymouth, said she is "disappointed" and said the decision "will hit us hard in the pocket but my main worry is about our staff, and how they will be looked after".

The government said the system will be regularly reviewed and an area's tier level may change before Christmas - the first review is scheduled for 16 December.

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