Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveals criteria for Tier 3 restrictions
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has offered a brief insight into when an area will be allowed to drop down out of Tier 3 restrictions.
The Government drafted in the three-level alert system to localise guidance for areas in the battle to bring Covid-19 transmissions under control.
Now it has emerged the move out of the worst section, which sees leads to the closures of bars not selling food and tough rules on meeting up with others, hinges on the number of cases in the over-60s as those are “likely” to lead to hospital admissions and deaths.
The North East, as it stands, remains in Tier 2, the High Risk level, has similar rules in terms of who can meet up, with the rule of six only applying to outside and no mixing between people from other homes.
Council leaders across seven council areas – Sunderland, South Tyneside, County Durham, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Northumberland – have argued the Government should consider evidence from the region showing the hospitals are not under pressure and case numbers are levelling off as they fight against a move into Tier 3.
Leaders in Hartlepool and across the Tees Valley also say they are against a change, with Hartlepool Borough Council's leader Councillor Shane Moore saying he would have told the Government to “sod off" if it made the push for the move.
Earlier today, Monday, October 26, Mr Hancock was asked what criteria was set out which would lead to an area leaving the Tier 3 measures.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The first thing that’s most important is that the case rate has to be coming down, and in particular we look at the number of cases amongst the over-60s because that’s the number that is likely to translate into hospital admissions and sadly into deaths.”
He added: “Unfortunately it’s (NHS data) showing that hospitalisations are still going up and that they are again doubling every fortnight or so…There’s just under 100,000 beds in the NHS as a whole and you can see how many of those are taken up by people with Covid.”