Millions of Brits will today find out which tier they will be in when England’s national lockdown ends next week.
From 12.01am next Wednesday (December 2), every village, town and city will be placed in one of three tiers once again.
Like before there will be three tiers; Tier 1 – medium risk – is the lowest level with the least severe restrictions, with rules becoming more strict in the high risk Tier 2, while the most severe Tier 3 has the most severe restrictions for very high risk areas.
The new tier rules were announced on Monday, with UK-wide Christmas plans confirmed on Tuesday. Now, families will know what their rules will be in the weeks leading up to the five-day Christmas bubble period.
What time will tiers be announced?
The tier decisions are expected to be announced by Health secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons at 11.30am.
Mr Hancock is due to present the full list of tiers by area to MPs.
While a time hasn’t been confirmed, Downing Street press conferences are usually held at 5pm.
Government ministers have warned Brits to be disappointed with many more places expected to be placed into Tier 2 or 3, with some suggestions than nowhere will return into Tier 1.
Both Tiers 2 and 3 have harsher rules before, including banning socialising indoors.
The final decision on tiering is made by Mr Johnson at the COVID Operations Committee.
Five points contribute to the decision on which tier towns and cities enter. They are:
- Analysis of cases across all age groups : The total number of cases in an area, their geographical spread and if they are on the rise.
- Analysis of cases specifically among the over-60s: Because older people are particularly vulnerable to serious cases of the diseases the number of cases among older people will be considered separately from the general population.
- Rate by which cases are rising or falling: How the R rate is changing in a particular area – how fast are people spreading the virus
- Percentage of those tested in local populations who are found to have Covid (e.g. cases per 100,000)
- Current and projected pressures on the NHS: While cases may be on the downward swing in some areas the key determining factor might the ability of the NHS ICU facilities to cope with predicted pressures.