Carlisle could be moved into Tier 2 lockdown as Covid numbers continue to rise.

Public health boss Colin Cox confirmed yesterday that his department is in discussions with the Government to look at the benefits of moving into Tier 2.

Mr Cox said the rate of infection in the city is rising at above the national level and said the county was on the beginning of a second wave of the pandemic.

Barrow still has the highest rate of cases with 261 cases per 100,000 people, with Carlisle close behind at 229.1 per 100,000 people – and rising.

Moving to Tier 2 would mean people would be prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting.

Businesses and venues can continue to operate, but pubs and restaurants must ensure that customers consume food and drink only while seated, and close between 10pm and 5am.

Takeaway food can continue to be sold after 10pm if ordered online or by phone.

Schools and universities would remain open.

Places of worship remain open, but people may not mingle in groups of more than six.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the numbers attending (15 and 30 respectively).

Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors but will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with those they do not live with or for youth or disability sport.

People would be asked to reduce travel except to amenities that are open, for work or education.

“We are keeping this under close review,” said Mr Cox.

He added that to avoid further action, “it’s really important that people support all the efforts on this by limiting their social contact.

“The rates in Barrow seem to have stabilised at around 260/100k/week. While that’s still higher than the England average, it’s encouraging to see that people are clearly supporting and responding positively to the Tier 2 measures, and it does show that we can work together to help bring the virus under control.

“We’re very much at the beginning of a second wave at the moment, and this is exactly what we’re trying to reduce. We’re working hard to make sure that we’re as prepared as we can be for the coming months."