The Health Secretary has today set out in Parliament the tiers which each local authority in England will fall under, in line with the measures set out in the COVID-19 Winter Plan published on Monday.
As announced earlier this week, the tiers have been toughened and many more areas will be placed into the higher tiers in order to safeguard the gains made during the period of national restrictions.
The first review point for the current tier allocations will take place by Wednesday 16 December.
This allows for the possibility of areas that continue to make progress in slowing the spread of the disease to be moved down a tier in advance of Christmas.
Decisions on tiers are made by ministers based on public health recommendations informed by the following factors:
case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, among the over 60s)
how quickly case rates are rising or falling
positivity in the general population
pressure on the NHS – including current and projected (3 to 4 weeks out) NHS capacity – including admissions, general/acute/ICU bed occupancy, staff absences
local context and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak.
If these indicators are not improving, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice made by people up and down the country, we are able to move out of national lockdown and into more targeted local, tiered restrictions.
“I know for those of you faced with tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding.
“By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures.”