THIS map reveals the hotspot areas that could be at risk of going into Tier 3 next week when lockdown ends.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could face a “major revolt” within his party after it was reported that 80 per cent of the country could be forced into the toughest restrictions.
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Our interactive map reveals the the areas with highest infection rates in dark red, while the lighter the colour, the lower the number of cases per 100,000 of the population.
Last night Downing Street revealed a UK-wide approach to Christmas to let people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland see each other from Christmas.
Three households will be allowed to see one another indoors for five days from December 23 to December 27 and travel across the UK without restrictions for those 5 days.
The lifting of travel bans means there could be a mad rush on train tickets as people try to get home for Christmas.
Mr Johnson is set to announce on Thursday which areas will fall into which Tiers – and it is most of England will be in Tier 2 or 3.
Earlier this week Mr Johnson begged Brits to come together once more to banish the coronavirus.
The latest infections data for England shows 269 out of 315 local authority areas have seen a fall in cases in the last seven days up to November 20.
Areas such as Hull in Yorkshire, Swale in Kent and East Lindsey in Lincolnshire are all expected to enter Tier 3 as they have some of the highest rates of infection in the country, Public Health England (PHE) data shows.
Tory MPs have warned that the new “toughened” tier system could reignite the North-South divide.
One Tory MP last night said the PM could face a Commons revolt over the tier system.
The source claimed almost 100 Tory MPs have raised concerns about the crippling damage to the economy from the restrictions that are due to last until April.
Tier 3 is expected to include a ban on households mixing indoors or out until a break over Christmas, pubs and restaurants only allowed to offer click and collect services and weddings still banned.
In a change from the previous tiered system, it’s expected gyms will be allowed to open in Tier 3.
Experts have warned that those living in Tier 3 won’t be able to stay away overnight.
Prof Sian Griffiths says this is because you are unable to have anyone in your home and said overnight stays depend on how many people are in your household.
Shoppers should also be able to buy gifts and goodies in the high street next month.
While most people will be able to gear up for Christmas, some will be forced to adhere to strict restrictions due to a growing number of coronavirus cases.
On Thursday, the government is set to reveal what tiers each local authority will be in.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that this would be announced on Thursday during a session in the House of Commons this week- which he attended virtually.
He said that the tiers would be decided by on five key indicators:
- case detection rates in all age groups
- case detection rates in the over 60s
- the rate infections are rising or falling
- the positivity rate – or number of positive Covid cases as a percentage of tests carried out
- pressure on the NHS, including current and projected bed occupancy.
THE TOP 10 CORONAVIRUS HOTSPOTS IN ENGLAND
Data from PHE shows rates of coronavirus cases across England.
The figures, for the seven days to November 20 show that Swale has the most infections and that Teignbridge, has the least – with just 52.9 cases per 100,000.
Below are the 10 places with the highest cases in England per 100,000.
Swale – 539.7
Hull – 529.3
Thanet – 491.8
East Lindsey – 470.6
Stoke-on-Trent – 453.6
Dudley – 452.1
Boston – 438.9
Sandwell – 435.7
Hyndburn – 435.6
Kirklees – 430.7
‘End in tiers’
Just last week it was revealed that several local authorities were looking to enter into tough restrictions once lockdown is lifted.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday said: “I think it is the case that we do need to be a bit tighter on the tiers – Tier 3 in more places is a strong possibility – but there’s still a difference between that and what we’re doing now.
“For example, in terms of the number of people that can meet outside in a public place, and a number of other things.
“We’ve been living through this nightmare for a long time now, we all know the only way to defeat this virus is, I’m afraid, to keep people apart and separate from the most natural thing, which is human contact.”
Most of the country is expected to return to the most stringent Tier 3 or high risk Tier 2.
Initially quite a lot of regions may find themselves in Tier 3 but we may find some kind of stepwise move out of that
Dr Mike Tildesley
Tier 2 will be “beefed up” and it is understood that pubs will only be allowed to serve booze alongside a “substantial meal” and punters will only be able to dine indoors with people they live with.
Pubs in Tier 3 will only be allowed to operate on a click and collect basis with no seating inside.
Dr Mike Tildesley , Member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling told BBC Breakfast that there is good evidence which proves that Tier 3 restrictions pushed the R rate below 1 in some places.
He said: “I would expect that probably initially quite a lot of regions may find themselves in Tier 3 but we may find some kind of stepwise move out of that.
“”It may be initially we might see slightly more severe tiers but then when we start to see the effect of the lockdown, 1-2 weeks after the lockdown finishes on December 2, we might see some regions stepwise dropping down the tiers.”
Data from the government’s coronavirus dashboard which calculates PHE data shows that Swale in Kent has 539.7 cases of the virus per 100,000 people.
Areas in the South of England had previously been in Tier 1 restrictions as cases remained low – but Swale is now the most infected place in England.
Hull has the second highest rate in England with 529.3 cases per 100,000.
The areas with the biggest week-on-week jump in rates are Medway (up from 306.9 to 415.0, with 1,156 new cases); Gravesham (up from 309.5 to 384.3, with 411 new cases); and Dover (up from 200.6 to 266.7, with 315 new cases).
The North of England had previously been home to the majority of coronavirus infections and experts had previously warned that the virus “wasn’t just an issue in the North”.
On Friday estimates from Sage suggested that the North West of England currently has a R rate between 0.8 and 1.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday revealed that cases are decreasing in the North West.
The official numbers body said: “Over the last week, infection rates have continued to increase in London, the East of England and the South East, however rates now appear to be decreasing in the North West and the East Midlands.
“The highest Covid-19 infection rates remain in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.”
Areas in the South are now also seeing an increase in cases.
Official data also states that regionally – many parts of the North have seen a decline in cases.
Previous hotspots such as Leicester could once again find itself in the toughest restrictions with 413.6 cases per 100,000.
Boris Johnson will announce which tiers will apply in different parts of the country on Thursday, November 26.
At the start of the pandemic, London had high cases numbers and cases have been rising since early November.
The capital had previously faced tier 2 restrictions before the second national lockdown.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to keep sticking to restrictions to help combat the virus.
He said: “Now more than ever it’s vital that we continue to follow the rules because we still have some very difficult months ahead in our fight against the virus.
“But I’m pleased to say that the end is finally coming into sight. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel”, he added.