STRICT new lockdown restrictions have been imposed on Birmingham but Worcestershire has not been included.

The Department of Health has announced households in Birmingham, as well as Sandwell and Solihull, can no longer meet each other from Tuesday after a rise in Covid-19 infections.

The announcement followed high level talks, overseen by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, that took place on Thursday.

This was called after alarming figures on new infections showed that, during the seven day period up to Monday (September 7), there was a rate of 75 cases per 100,000 people in the second city.

The latest data for our region showed Worcestershire is not at this level, but there has been concern after a rise across our county.

Based on positive tests in the seven days from September 1 to September 7, Worcester was up from 8.9 to 10.9 cases per 100,000, Malvern Hills was up to 26.7 from a previous 2.5, Wychavon was up to 20.1 from 5.4 the week before, while Bromsgrove was up to 25 up from 8.0.

But in better news Redditch saw a drop to 9.4 from 17.6, and Wyre Forest saw a drop to 7.9 from 9.9.

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Peter Pinfield, the chairman of a health watchdog representing county patients, Healthwatch, described the Worcestershire rises as an “escalating and worrying situation”.

Mr Pinfield: “What we should learn from the spike in April is when the trend starts you need to act before it gets out of hand.

"Healthwatch are saying listen to what the medical specialists are saying, and as a public we should do everything we can.

"The increases in cases is a disappointment.

"To now try and open up everything - and I can understand from businesses’ point of view that’s what they want to happen - if it is going to spread this virus at a quicker rate it is a risk not worth taking.”