• Sat. Oct 22nd, 2022

Public Health England data shows South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire are among the areas where new Covid-19 cases are falling, meaning they could be “de-escalated”

Nov 28, 2020

Encouraging data shows the speed at which Covid-19 infections are falling in some of England’s hotspots – raising hopes there could be a way out of top tiers.
On Thursday the government announced that large swathes of the country would go into Tier 3 – meaning restaurants and pubs have to remain shut and people face the highest restrictions on meeting.
Just 1% of the country will be in the lowest Tier 1, which allows people to mix with those they don’t live with indoors.
But as Mirror Online revealed yesterday, there are huge anomalies, with some areas spared the harshest rules having three times more infections than those who weren’t.
There is hope, however – with a graph produced by Public Health England showing that new cases in South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire are plummeting.
Public Health England figures show how fast cases are falling in hotspots (Image: Public Health England)
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Nottingham and Warwickshire – which were both placed in Tier 3 by the government – have also seen a fall in cases, prompting hopes they could be moved down soon.
If infection rates continue to fall, the government says, areas can be “de-escalated”.
In a report alongside the graphic, Public Health England said: “This chart shows some decreases in weekly case rates in the north of England, and other areas where case rates are high but declining.
“Continued improvement over the coming period may make these areas candidates for de-escalation in the New Year.”
Reports last night claimed that Boris Johnson is planning to use the tier system until Easter to keep the virus under control.
The government says some areas could be moved to a lower tier in the New Year (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Most of the country will enter the toughest tiers once lockdown ends
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Yesterday the government’s Sage committee confirmed that the R rate is believed to have fallen below 1 for the first time in three months.
This means that the number of new cases nationally is declining.
Every hospital in England could be overwhelmed with coronavirus cases if new tier restrictions are not introduced, Michael Gove has warned, as he seeks to quell a Tory backbench rebellion over the measures.
The Cabinet Office Minister, writing in The Times, urged MPs to “take responsibility for difficult decisions” to curb the spread of Covid-19, amid anger from some Conservatives that much of England will face stringent restrictions.
The tier system could be in place for months (Image: Liverpool Echo)
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly will be under the lightest Tier 1 controls, while large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3.
In total, 99% of England will enter Tier 2 or 3, with tight restrictions on bars and restaurants and a ban on households mixing indoors when the four-week national lockdown lifts on Wednesday.
It comes as the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in four NHS regions of England reached higher totals this month than during the first peak, with figures in both the South West and North East and Yorkshire still above those seen in the spring.
Scientists advising the Government said that any relaxation of restrictions over Christmas will result in a “large” rise in coronavirus transmission rates and prevalence “could easily double”.
In a set of documents released on Friday, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said “substantial mixing” of people over a short period of time represents a “significant risk for widespread transmission”.
The scientists made their warning in a meeting on November 18 – a few days before the Government announced that there would be a limited relaxation of restrictions at Christmas.