South Gloucestershire would have moved into Tier 2 of the Government’s national alert level system were it not for the announcement of a national lockdown.

Discussions were underway to voluntarily impose greater restrictions, including banning households from mixing indoors, when plans for the national lockdown broke over the weekend.

The news raises questions of what tier South Gloucestershire if the tier system is resumed on December 2.

There were 767 new cases confirmed in South Gloucestershire in the seven days up to October 29.

The latest reported rate of infection in South Gloucestershire is 269 per 100,000 people, above the averages for England (225) and the South West (145).

Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage, said: “Throughout the pandemic, South Gloucestershire Council has been proactively working with partners and our local communities to help contain the virus.

“Having closely considered our data and likely future projections, along with the pressure faced by our local NHS system, we had entered discussions to move into Tier 2 to build on the enhanced local measures already in place.

“We know that a second national lockdown is not necessarily the news that people were hoping for, but we also know that the communities and residents of South Gloucestershire will pull together, follow the rules and do the right thing to help keep everyone safe and well.”

Deputy leader and cabinet member for adults and housing, Ben Stokes, said: “We are seeing a general trend of increased transmission in South Gloucestershire, with most of the cases being in the community. If we don’t act now, the additional Covid admissions could overwhelm local health and care systems.

“We work closely with our partners in the local health and care system, including the community and voluntary sector, to care for and protect our most vulnerable residents. We’d been in discussions with these partners, our neighbouring authorities, and government about the move into a higher level of alert and all agreed moving tiers was essential to avoid even higher rates of infection locally.

“We must all work together to help protect our community and our health services and to ensure the system can cope and care for those in greatest need.”