The council leader has shared his view on Swindon's Tier 2 status, which was announced by health secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons today.

The town was in Tier 1 when national restrictions were introduced last month but the Covid case rate is higher now. In the seven days to November 20, there were 346 cases in the town.

Although the rolling rate of 155.7 per 100,000 of the population is below the national average, Swindon – and Wiltshire – have been placed in the ‘high-risk’ Tier 2 category.

This comes as a particular blow to pubs, which will face stricter rules

Writing ahead of the announcement in his Adver column, council leader David Renard said: “We expect to find out which of the three revised Covid alert tiers Swindon will be placed in when lockdown comes to an end next Wednesday (December 2).

“This latest month-long lockdown has been a challenge for all of us, but we are beginning to see positive signs in terms of our local case rate with less people having tested positive for the virus over the last few days.

“We want to see our case rate continue to fall and, if the government decides we need to be at the Tier 2 ‘high alert’ level, then we will fully support that view.

“The restrictions have shown they are working so there is a good argument that we need to maintain additional restrictions to keep up that momentum.”

Alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal. All businesses and venues, including non-essential retail will be able to to reopen, as will places of worship.

There will be no mixing indoors, apart from support bubbles.