'The better outcome' – Ipswich MP Tom Hunt relieved by Tier 2 announcement
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he is "glad" the town has remained in Tier 2 after facing the prospect of entering the toughest Tier 3 restrictions.
Speaking after health secretary Matt Hancock's announcement in parliament earlier today, Mr Hunt said he was relieved that the rising cases in Ipswich were not enough to push the town into the highest tier.
Despite having concerns over the rising cases and the need for the town to clamp down on the virus, Mr Hunt said he was "glad" the town is staying in Tier 2.
Mr Hunt said: "When we came out of lockdown it was touch and go whether we would enter Tier 1 or Tier 2 and this time around it was touch and go between Tier 2 and Tier 3.
"I did communicate to the government that despite the growing rates of the virus, that at this stage Ipswich staying in Tier 2 would be the better outcome.
"The only reason why we were ever in contention to going into Tier 3 was because of the data, which showed a significant increase in cases among the population."
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Should the town have entered Tier 3 restrictions, pubs and restaurants would have been forced to close their doors, while household mixing in private gardens would be banned.
Ipswich Town fans would also no longer be able to attend Portman Road stadium.
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Mr Hunt said now is the time for the small minority of people in the town who have been breaching guidelines to follow the rules – and prevent the town from facing a similar position when the government next reviews restrictions.
He added: "Now we need to think about the best interests of the town, and by that I mean stopping the spread of the virus while preventing us from returning to this position again where we face the prospect of Tier 3.
"The hospitality industry is the heart and soul of our town – and now there is light at the end of the tunnel – but when we get to the point that we come out of this, we need to ensure that our hospitality industry is there with us."