GREEN councillors are urging the Government to move Oxfordshire into tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

The West Oxfordshire Green Party says the Department of Health and Social Care needs to listen to local councils and public health experts, and take ‘decisive action’.

The party believes that rather than placing faith in an ‘increasingly poorly performing’ NHS Test and Trace system, action should be taken, such as extending local track and trace services, while moving into tier 2.

Witney town councillor Andrew Prosser and Charlbury town councillor Liz Reason issued a joint statement, saying: “We should do everything we can to avoid ending up in tier 3 with its severe restrictions on businesses and Oxfordshire’s residents.

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“Time is of the essence, moving to tier 2 now may be the only way we can prevent the rapid spread of this disease and avoid businesses and citizens struggling in tier 3.

“The longer this Government sets itself against local government leaders, the more our citizens and businesses will suffer.”

On Thursday, the county was blocked by the Government from entering into tier 2, after the county’s public health director Ansaf Azhar applied to the Government for heightened restrictions.

Mr Azhar had the backing of all Oxfordshire’s different council leaders.