Five factors that will determine your tier ahead of Matt Hancock’s announcement

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Today is the day Brits find out which of the dreaded coronavirus lockdown tiers their area will be be plunged into,

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will today make an announcement to the nation as every local authority in England is placed into one of three tiers.

This follows a month-long nationwide lockdown after the Covid-19 death toll reached heights not seen since May and cases shot into the tens of thousands.

Today, Hancock will set out how the toughened-up three tiers system will work.

Ahead of Hancock's address to the nation, the Department of Health this morning revealed there will be five factors determining which tier your area falls under, based on the latest data.

The department said the decision will be made based on the recommendations to Ministers, from regional and national public health experts – but local authorities will have no power to protest.

These include the following five factors:

  • Case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, amongst the over 60s)
  • How quickly case rates are rising or falling
  • Positivity in the general population
  • Pressure on the NHS – including current and projected (3-4 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.

  • New Covid-19 map predicts infection hotspots that could land regions in strict Tier 3

If these indicators show no signs of improvement, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier.

The Health Secretary will today set out in Parliament the tier which each local authority in England will fall under, in line with the measures set out in the Government's 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.

  • All of England 'facing toughest coronavirus measures with nowhere in Tier One'

The first review of the tiers will take place on December 16, which could mean those areas in a high tier will be able to move down a tier if they continue to make progress to slow down the virus before Christmas.

Areas placed in tier 3 will be given extra support and receive rapid turnaround tests to help bring down infections and reduce restrictions.

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.”

The government will also publish an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach.

Local authorities that fall into tier 3 will be offered support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme

  • Lockdown
  • Coronavirus

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