When the national lockdown ends on December 2, England will face new, tiered restrictions until the end of March 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the government’s winter plan in an announcement on November 23.
What tiers different areas will be placed in won’t be confirmed until Thursday.
But the new tier lockdown rules will be tougher than the previous system, after the government’s scientific advisors said it didn’t do enough to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
However, it has been confirmed which system ministers will use to determine which tier each area will be placed in, reports The Mirror.
In order to decide which Tier your area will be in, the government will look at these five things:
- Analysis of cases across all age groups
This involves looking at the total number of coronavirus cases in your area, their geographical spread and if they are on the rise.
- Analysis of cases specifically among the over-60s
Older people are considered particularly vulnerable and more at risk of becoming seriously ill due to Covid-19, which is why they will be considered separately from the rest of the population.
- Rate by which cases are rising or falling
Officials will look at how the R rate is changing, meaning how fast the virus is spreading.
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- Percentage of those tested in local populations who are found to have Covid (e.g. cases per 100,000)
- Current and projected pressures on the NHS
In some areas the determining factor might be the ability of the NHS ICU facilities to cope, even if cases are on a downward swing
However, when it comes to actually weighing up all these factors, it becomes quite complicated.
The government has said they will need to "maintain some flexibility to weight these indicators against each other as the context demands".
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The government plan continues: "For example, hospital capacity in a given area will need to be considered in the light of the capacity in neighbouring areas and the feasibility of moving patients.
"Case detection rates will need to be weighted against whether the spread of the virus appears to be localised to particular communities. Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators, as doing so would result in poorer quality decisions.
"The Government will, however, be transparent about the decisions that it takes and make available the evidence informing those decisions."
According to the government report, there are also six less explicit indicators that will be factored in.
It adds: "The movement of areas up and down tiers will also be informed by broader economic and practical considerations, such as the anticipated movement of individuals between areas."
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