INFECTION rates among people over the age of 60 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are rising but there are still no imminent plans for the area to move into Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Speculation that the conurbation could be put under stricter measures was dismissed on Tuesday and the leader of BCP Council said the position remains unchanged.

Councillor Drew Mellor said the situation was “getting more serious” but that infection figures were still below English averages.

On Tuesday, the county’s director for public health, Sam Crowe, said a decision on whether to move Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole would be made “in the next few days”.

“I think that where we are currently, that will be definitely something that will be discussed this week," he said. "If the rate doesn’t stabilise and if it doesn’t come down, we will need to take additional actions and, obviously, moving to Tier 2 is the next step in that contain framework."

This would place more restrictions on members of different households meeting indoors under social settings.

It comes as government data shows the conurbation has a rate of 202 positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

But MPs all said plans to move the area into Tier 2 – or the High category – were “not being considered”.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said he would “strongly resist” any such proposal, based on the current figures for rates of infection in the conurbation.

“With the negative impact of the 10pm closing on the already bruised hospitality sector further restrictions should be an absolute last resort and based only on compelling data,” he said.

Cllr Mellor had been due to host a coronavirus-focused question and answer session on Facebook on Wednesday alongside the cabinet member for its work in this area – councillor Nicola Greene.

However, this was postponed due to audio issues and has now been rearranged to take place on Wednesday next week (November 4).

Speaking afterwards, he said the position remained unchanged from Tuesday with no preparation being made for a move into Tier 2.

“We are below the England average – just, but tracking it,” he said. “And we are not the highest in the South West with Bristol higher and places like Bath and South Gloucestershire being very similar.

“It is getting more serious and it is rising too much and too fast but no worse than is being seen elsewhere.”

He said the increase in rates was still primarily among people aged between 18 and 30 but that it was also beginning to rise in the over-60s group too and that this had led to “concern” about the knock-on impact on hospital administrations.

“We will keep in touch on it across Dorset and the South West pretty much daily but there is no indication nationally that we will need to do anything else outside of our control,” he added.