What tiers each North West area is likely to be in over New Year

There are now 360,281 confirmed Covid-19 across the North West as each region awaits to hear confirmation tomorrow (December 30) of its tier status for the start of 2021.

In the last 24 hours another 4,194 people have tested positive for Covid-19 – one of the biggest daily rises in recent weeks.

This includes 861 cases in Lancashire and a record-breaking 335 cases in Cumbria.

The latest Public Health England data released on Tuesday evening (December 29) shows that Burnley in Tier 3 is now the North West’s Covid-19 hotspot with an infection rate of 465.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Eden in Cumbria is the only other North West local authority area with a rate above the 400 mark.

The situation across the region varies widely depending upon where you live with rates of between 80.7 and 465.6.

No North West areas are in the England top 50 with Burnley the highest placed at 83rd out of 315 while Copeland and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria are in the bottom five.

Most of North West has been in Tier 3 for several weeks, with the exception of the Liverpool City region and Cumbria.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to move more areas into tougher lockdown restrictions when he announces changes to the tiers in the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon.

With coronavirus infection rates increasing in all regions, along with the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, any changes are likely to involve areas moving up a tier rather than down.

Infection rates are rising in 10 out of 14 Lancashire boroughs and Mr Hancock is likely to announce that Burnley, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Blackburn with Darwen will be upgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 4.

In Cumbria, the county’s Public Health Direcot warned the county would likely be moved into Tier 3 if infections rates continued to rise.

The latest data shows rates are now rising in five out of six districts, with an 84 per cent rise in Carlisle and 55 per cent increase in Eden.

The Mirror reports that Eden could could jump from Tier 2 to Tier 4 with its rate now at 458.2.

In Greater Manchester, infection rates are continuing to rise in six out of the ten boroughs. Greater Manchester was placed into Tier 3 at the start of the national lockdown ending. The MEN says however it’s unclear whether the region will remain unchanged, as it has done for four weeks, or will be upgraded.

Infection rates range from around the 150 mark to less than 250 and well below the national average transmission rate of 367.4.

The ECHO reports that the Liverpool City Region could find itself facing more restrictions having been in Tier 2 since December 2 and with case numbers and infection rates on the rise.

It could follow neighbouring Cheshire into Tier 3, which would see pubs and restaurants closed except for takeaways.

Last week Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington went up from Tier 2 to Tier 3 after the Covid-19 picture in the area had “deteriorated”. It is likely the area will remain in Tier 3.

Halton has remained in Tier 2 along with the rest of the Liverpool City Region with infection rates below the 200 mark.

These are the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus by North West area as of Tuesday, December 29:

The data below includes the total number of cases and overall infection rate for each area since the pandemic began. Many of these cases will no longer be active.

There are 75,906 cases in Lancashire, 16974 in Bolton, 11530 in Bury, 11757 in Cheshire East, 11583 in Cheshire West and Chester, 13459 in Cumbria, 5562 in Halton, 8721 in Knowsley, 27042 in Liverpool, 35358 in Manchester, 16598 in Oldham, 14643 in Rochdale, 15192 in Salford, 11982 in Sefton, 8749 in St Helens, 12374 in Stockport, 11704 in Tameside, 10240 in Trafford, 10035 in Warrington, 18972 in Wigan and 11900 in Wirral.

How are tier movements decided?

According to the government website, there are five indicators which guide the decisions for what tier an area should be placed in, alongside consideration of ‘human geographies’ like travel patterns.

These are:

  • case detection rates in all age groups
  • case detection rates in the over 60s
  • the rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  • pressure on the NHS

The government says the five key indicators allow suitable decisions to be made about the coronavirus tiers.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “While each metric is important in its own right, the interplay between each indicator for a given area is equally important, so a hard and fast numerical threshold on each metric is not appropriate.

“These are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice, and the best possible data from the JBC”.

What are the new Tier 4 restrictions

The government’s message for people in Tier 4 is ‘stay at home.’

People in Tier 1 to 3 should not to travel into the new tier four areas. Across all tiers people should now “stay local”.

The restrictions in Tier 4 are similar to lockdown and include:

  • Residents should stay at home, unless they have a “reasonable excuse” such as work or education
  • All non-essential shops must close
  • Hairdressers and nail bars must close
  • Indoor entertainment venues must close
  • Gyms and indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts and dance studios must close
  • You cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble
  • People should not leave tier four areas or travel abroad, except for limited reasons (including work and education)
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only allowed in exceptional circumstances
  • People who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4 areas are advised to stay at home “as much as possible”. The government says if they can’t work from home, they shouldn’t go to work.

You can:

  • Meet one other person from another household in an open public space, if you are both alone
  • Shop for essentials such as food and medicine
  • Go to outdoor pools, playgrounds, sports courts, golf courses and horse riding centres
  • Leave home for work, education, training, childcare and for medical appointments and emergencies
  • Go to communal religious worship

Support bubbles are still allowed and children can move between separated parents.

When will the tiers next be reviewed

The regulations require the government to review the allocations at least every 14 days.

This would mean the next review is expected on January 13.

However the Government has shown in recent weeks that those reviews can be brought forward if an area needs to be put quickly into tougher measures.

Find out how Covid-19 is affecting where you live by adding your postcode.

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Lancs Live – Cumbria