Everything you need to know about next tier announcement

Millions of people in England are waiting to find out what tier they will be in.

Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus, 24million people, 43% of the population, are already living under Tier 4 restrictions, with a “Stay at home” order.

Meanwhile, a further 24.8million people are currently living in Tier 3 locations, with no mixing with other households indoors.

Only one part of the country is currently enjoying the least restrictive Tier 1 rules going into the review, and that’s the Isles of Scilly.

There has been a concerning increase in the number of patients in hospitals, and the number of positive coronavirus cases, so it's expected areas will be moving to harsher tiers.

When is the next tier announcement?

The next coronavirus tier review is set to take place today, on Wednesday December 30.

Timings haven’t yet been confirmed, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to make an announcement in the House of Commons at 3pm.

The changes he announces are expected to come into effect from Saturday.

Places will move up, or down, a tier based on a number of scientific factors.

Which areas are at risk of moving into Tier 4?

There are 16 areas at risk of being placed into Tier 4, according to data from Public Health England (PHE).

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Each of the areas has a Covid-19 infection rate higher than 300 new cases per 100,000 people, and rates are climbing in all but two of them.

They include Tier 3 areas Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley in Lancashire, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Sandwell in the West Midlands, Northampton in the East Midlands, and Hartlepool in the North East.

Tier 2 areas Eden and Carlisle in Cumbria are also at risk.

The other areas under threat of being moved up to Tier 4 are Hartlepool in County Durham, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, Amber Valley in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.

How are the tiers decided?

The government reviews the tier system every two weeks, using a number of methods to decide how well areas are coping with Covid-19.

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These include:

  • How quickly cases are falling or rising and what percentage of people tested are positive
  • Case rates in the population, with particular focus in people aged over 60
  • How well local NHS services can cope, including current and projected Covid bed occupancy and daily hospital admissions

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