What areas are moving to Tier 4 from December 31 and what tier is Cambridgeshire in?
More areas of England are being moved into Tier 4 as the battle against the spread of Covid-19 intensifies.
The Midlands, North East, parts of the North West and parts of the South West are among the areas escalated to Tier 4, with almost all remaining areas escalated to Tier 3.
It comes as the government confirmed the spread of the new variant of Covid-19, which is more easily transmissible, is increasing in the South West, Midlands and parts of the North West.
Cambridgeshire, and the surrounding counties of Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk will remain in Tier 4, along with London.
Health secretary Matt Hancock announced to the House of Commons today (Wednesday December 30), that the areas listed below will join them in the top tier of coronavirus restrictions, which has a stay at home order, from Thursday December 31.
Further announcements are expected on the reopening of schools, with reports speculating there may be a delay to pupils returning to classes.
Moving to Tier 4: Stay at Home from the beginning of Thursday December 31, 2020:
- Leicester City
- Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton)
- Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)
- Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)
- Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak)
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe)
- Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)
- Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent)
- Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
- Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)
- Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale)
- Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
- Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees )
- North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)
- Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham)
- Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset)
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
- Isle of Wight
- New Forest
The following local authority areas will move to Tier 3: Very High from the beginning of Thursday December 31, 2020:
- Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
- Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
- Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
- York & North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
- Bath and North East Somerset
- Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)
The government said the weekly case rate in England rose 32 per cent between December 18 and 24 to 402.6 per 100,000 people.
The NHS has admitted 14,915 patients to hospital with Covid-19 in the past week, an 18 per cent increase on the week before.
The majority of new cases of Covid-19 identified in the East of England, which includes Cambridgeshire, along with London and the South East are of the new variant, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Evidence shows this variant is increasing in the South West, Midlands and parts of the North West, which means stronger measures are required to get the virus under control.
There is no evidence that the new variant leads to more serious disease or has a worse mortality rate, but it does spread more easily.
Covid-19 vaccines are expected to work as effectively against the variants.
It means 78 per cent of the country will be under Tier 4 restrictions from December 31.
Meanwhile, the government said Tier 3 and 4 areas will continue to be prioritised for community testing, with more than 100 local authorities now having signed up to the enhanced testing support programme.
Responding to the changes, Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: “Increasing infection numbers, coupled with the identification of the new Covid-19 variant, means the government must act to protect public health.
“But tightening restrictions across many areas provides a torrid end to an already tough year for many businesses.
“There is now a growing need to re-evaluate Government support in January to ensure firms can survive through to the spring and beyond.
“While the vaccine rollout and efforts to increase mass rapid testing offer hope going into 2021, it is clear challenges will continue well into next year. Steadfast support should continue to help struggling firms and lay the foundations for the economic recovery.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people not to go out on New Year’s Eve.
“I must ask you to follow the rules where you live tomorrow night and see in the new year safely at home.
“That means not meeting up with friends or family indoors, unless they're in the same household or support bubble, and avoiding large gatherings of any kind. We are still in the tunnel of this pandemic.”
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