THE whole county could see the same Covid-19 restrictions, according to Cumbria’s health chief.

Director of public health Colin Cox expects Cumbria to see the same Covid-19 restrictions across the county, as opposed to tiers for each district as was in place before the national lockdown.

“When the tiering arrangements were first put in place, we had a situation where Barrow had a rate more than three times higher than on the west coast, so treating them the same didn’t make much sense," he said.

“At the moment, however, there’s not a huge difference in the case rates between the districts so it makes sense for us to be in the same tier.”

Although the new tier arrangement is yet to be laid out by Government, Mr Cox expects Cumbria to see tier two style restrictions.

Tier two is currently the 'high' alert level.

Mr Cox said: “Barrow has rates that have been falling on average since the middle of October, so they’ve been doing fantastically well."

There is concern for the Carlisle area however: “Carlisle currently has the highest rates in the county, and they’re not falling, so I am concerned about the situation there.

“While a lot of the numbers in Carlisle are accounted for by a significant outbreak that’s going on associated with Richard Rose Central Academy, there’s a real risk that has a knock-on effect in the wider community.

"It’s even more important than ever that people in Carlisle follow the guidance and do self-isolate if they’re told to do so by track and trace staff – we need to work really hard to keep the virus contained.”

West Cumbria has seen a low number of cases, with 139 confirmed cases in Allerdale and 84 in Copeland within the last seven days.

Mr Cox said: “The numbers in Copeland have been falling for about two weeks now, so things are moving in the right direction. What we mustn’t do now is think it’s all over and start to relax our guard.

"People have been fantastic in supporting the efforts to get the rates down by following the guidance, and that’s the only way we can keep getting the numbers down.”