Boris Johnson has been urged to move Staffordshire out of “unwarranted” Tier 3 restrictions by council leaders across the county.
County council boss Alan White, along with Staffordshire’s eight borough councils, have told the Prime Minister the county should be moved into less strict Tier 2.
They have lobbied Mr Johnson to make the change when the Government revises which tier each area of England is in on December 16.
In line with Tier 3 rules – the harshest that can be imposed – pubs, cafes and restaurants can only operate takeaway or delivery services, while indoor tourist attractions must stay closed.
However, if Staffordshire was moved to Tier 2, they would be able to reopen.
In their letter, the council leaders say the area’s falling Covid infection rates mean the current Tier 3 restrictions are ‘unwarranted’, with many local businesses being left ‘on their knees’.
The tourism and hospitality sectors employ more than 33,000 people in Staffordshire, and contribute £1.85 billion to the county’s economy. According to the letter, businesses will be able to keep customers safe while helping the local economy recover from the pandemic.
The letter states: “Infection rates are falling rapidly across Staffordshire as local authorities work with public and community leaders to defeat this terrible disease.
“Yet sections of our economy and many local businesses are on their knees.
“Any prolonged stay in Tier 3 restrictions will damage the economy, lives and livelihoods further. We firmly believe that the impact on our hospitality and tourism businesses is also unwarranted.
“The review of tiers on December 16 presents the perfect opportunity to move Staffordshire from Tier 3 to Tier 2.
“By doing so, Government would provide the desperately needed shot in the arm for hospitality and tourism in Staffordshire and the country as a whole.
“We would urge you to look into this as a matter of urgency, so that our businesses can recoup some of their losses endured this year as we approach Christmas, and are able to start contributing to the recovery that we are all desperate to support and see.”