Resignation and dismay as Shropshire enters New Year under Tier 3

Residents in Shropshire have expressed their dismay at starting 2021 under strict Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

People in Wellington were reacting to the latest announcement
People in Wellington were reacting to the latest announcement

People in Wellington spoke of their feelings on the latest stepping up of Government rules, after a consistent rise in cases and more than 900 Covid-related deaths registered in the UK two days in a row.

The entire county of Shropshire has been moved up to Tier 3 guidelines, which had previously applied in busy urban areas like Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Manchester. Those areas have now moved into the strictest Tier 4 level, meaning people must only leave home with good reason such as work, shopping, exercise or eduation.

Hospitality venues in Tier 3 ('Very High Alert') areas must close, except for delivery and takeaways. Hotels and accommodation must also close except for specific exemptions, outdoor sports can continue but spectators cannot attend, and in most circumstances people are banned from meeting socially with people from other households excluding 'support bubbles'.

Ralph Egan, 71, felt that the country should have stayed in lockdown for longer

Ralph Egan, of Trench, felt that the Government should have maintained the stricter lockdown rules to control the spread of the virus.

The 71-year-old said that when he is offered a vaccine he will eagerly present both his arms.

"I think the Government have made two mistakes: one, it should be a national lockdown to try and control it a bit better; and two, sending kids back to school.

"They can carry it back to their families and even out on the way back from school.

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"They're saying that children are the lowest risk but they're still a risk. This new variant as well, I think that's all the more reason to have a national lockdown.

"I can't wait until this is all over and I can take this mask off. When they do offer me [the vaccine] I'll be there with both arms.

"When we came out of the lockdown, overnight they were opening everything up – gyms, football."

Peter McGrath simply said: "The world's gone crazy."

Reverend Lee Plummer has been doing his part for people who will be newly afraid following the announcement

Reverend Lee Plummer, the new chaplain at Wrekin College, said it was "inevitable" that the rules would be toughened up.

He was out with his family supporting Wellington's small businesses in the wake of the announcement.

"What happens next is down to us," the 43-year-old said. "I think in part we are in this situation because of our own choices."

He said that he is making an effort to support elderly and vulnerable people who will be scared all over again after a traumatic 2020 of shielding and isolation.

He has also provided Wrekin College students online opportunities to discuss their concerns away from lesson time.

Sally Knight said that the new warnings will be especially hard on elderly and disabled people

Three young people who have been keeping away from their loved ones to keep them safe were walking in their small bubble.

Among them was Sally Knight, 32, who has caring responsibilities for her poorly father and has to coordinate with nurses for his care.

She said the new restrictions would be especially hard on elderly and disabled people who may find it difficult to keep on top of what exactly they are expected to do in order to keep safe.

James Rodgers and Katy Brazenell are worried for their vulnerable family members

Meanwhile James Rodgers, 20, worried for his own disabled brother. Katy Brazenell, 22, was looking after a dog belonging to her friend who is in Tier 4 in Wales.

They both said that they have missed their grandparents this year and that the return to stricter rules was a tough blow for families.

Katy said: "I haven't been able to go and see my nan and I love my nan."

James said that his grandparents have difficulty staying in touch remotely so he worries for their health.

One of those who felt that the restrictions had to be toughened up was Elizabeth Martin, who is 76 and has been making sacrifices throughout the crisis to keep safe.

She lives alone but was able to see her daughter and son-in-law for Christmas.

"I just think that if people had been doing what they should have been doing then we wouldn't be here now.

"It's hard on us but it has to be done. I just hope it doesn't go any higher than Tier 3. It's dreadful for businesses – how are they going to keep going?"

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