A CUMBRIA health chief says he’s hopeful the county could go into Tier One of the coronavirus restrictions by Christmas if people continue to follow social distancing measures.

Colin Cox, the county’s director of public health, made the comments as the county goes into Tier Two regulations from today, following the month long national lockdown.

This means the county will continue to face a number of restrictions, such as a ban of people from different households mixing indoors, unless they are part of a ‘bubble’, though groups of up to six people are permitted to meet outdoors.

If the county went into Tier One there would be a number of less severe restrictions.

For example, groups of up to six from different households could meet indoors and outdoors.

Venues serving food and drink would be able to open but time would will be called at 10pm – customers however would be allowed to stay until 11pm. Tier allocations will be reviewed by the Government every two weeks.

The Government’s REACT-1 Study, published this week has suggested that infection rates across England have fallen by a third, from 130 per 100,000 people to 96.

Public Health England data showed 10,231 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday. in Cumbria since the start of the pandemic.

Tier One represents a ‘medium’ alert level, Tier Two is ‘high’ and Tier Three is ‘very high’.

Mr Cox said: “Rates of Covid-19 in Cumbria are currently falling significantly as a result of the national lockdown measures that have been in place for the last month, which is hugely encouraging news.

“At the moment our rates are still twice as high as they are in the areas that have been put into Tier One, and it’s clear that rates need to be very low before it’s safe to go into Tier One.

“If rates continue to fall, it is possible that Cumbria might be able to move into Tier One when government reviews the tiers in a fortnight.

“But this will only happen if people continue to observe good physical distancing even as we come out of lockdown. Let’s not lose the great progress we’ve made by letting things slip now.”