Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “The tougher restrictions are not surprising yet remain disappointing.
“Inevitably there will be an impact on the local economy, especially in the hard-pressed hospitality sector.
“We must now focus and divert all of our efforts into doing everything we can to move from tier 2 to tier 1 as quickly as possible. I would urge everyone to stick to the rules so this can be achieved as soon as we can and to avoid moving into tier 3, which would be disastrous.
“Disappointment at the higher ratings is tempered very slightly by relief that we will be emerging from the full lockdown next week and that a vaccination programme is on the horizon.
“Clearly there are challenges ahead and I would encourage everyone to support their local businesses at this time, especially in retail and the sectors of hospitality which are able to open.
“Support remains available to all businesses free of charge through the Dorset Gateway and I would encourage anyone to get in touch if they need help.
“The Dorset Chamber will continue to support businesses and work with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to lobby at the highest level at Westminster.”