BUSINESS leaders have called for clarity after the government announced its new tier system for coronavirus restrictions.

Under the new rules, most local authority areas automatically go into the ‘medium risk’ tier. If infections rise too quickly, they will be moved into ‘high’ which involves a ban on social mixing between households and stricter control on business opening hours.

The places where infections are increasing fastest will be put into ‘very high’ which will see much tougher restrictions.

British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall called for clarity, saying businesses have put hard work in to make their companies covid-secure.

He said: “Intensified restrictions will be a real blow to business and public confidence at a delicate time for the economy.

READ MORE: What does government's new tier system mean for Worcestershire?

“Firms have put hard work and precious cash into making their businesses Covid-secure, and must be allowed to operate unless there is overwhelming and clear evidence to the contrary.

"Businesses cannot be subjected to a rollercoaster of stop-start restrictions with no end in sight. Speculation and rumour have badly eroded trust between Westminster, local government, and our businesses communities.

“At a time when clarity and transparency are critical, local business leaders must be more deeply involved in decision-making, so that the real-world consequences for livelihoods and communities are understood.

“The introduction of any new restrictions must go hand-in-hand with the appropriate level of financial support, both now and into the future. Above all, businesses need to see an exit strategy to prevent economic paralysis.

READ MORE: Worcestershire facing tier two restrictions as coronavirus infections increase

"Mass testing, faster processing and proportionate financial support for those forced to self-isolate are crucial to supporting businesses and communities in the months ahead.”

Worcestershire is currently in the medium tier, though talks are being held with the government about the possibility of it moving up to the high tier due to rising infection rates across the county.

Announcing the new measures in the commons last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "This morning (Monday) the chief medical officer set out the stark reality of the second wave of coronavirus.

"The number of cases has quadrupled in the last three weeks and there are more people in hospital now than in March.

"The weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country. I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed."