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The parts of Yorkshire most likely to see a tier change before Christmas

Written by on 28/11/2020

A graph published by the government shows the areas of Yorkshire which could change tiers before Christmas.

South and West Yorkshire will be placed under Tier 3 post-lockdown and North Yorkshire will be in Tier 2, restricting social interactions and the operation of hospitality venues.

This will be reviewed again in the middle of December which means areas could move up or down the tier system depending on factors such as infection rates.

North Yorkshire, which has seen its infection rate drop significantly over the last few weeks, is currently at the top end of Tier 2 together with Cheshire and Shropshire, a graph by the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre shows.

Areas in South Yorkshire such as Doncaster and Sheffield have also recorded fewer new Covid-19 cases since the start of lockdown.

If the infection rates continue to fall, South Yorkshire could see restrictions eased before Christmas and pubs and restaurants could be allowed to reopen if the area moves into Tier 2.

The graph was produced by the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre

West Yorkshire continues to have some of the county’s highest infection rates, with the graph showing it is currently placed at the top of Tier 3.

This can of course change over the next few weeks and infection rates could continue to decrease significantly.

You can take a look at the most up-to-date infection rates for each local authority here.

Five factors primarily determine the restrictions in each area:

  • case detection rates in all age groups;
  • case detection rates in the over-60s;
  • the rate at which cases are rising or falling;
  • the positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken;
  • and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

The government has said it needs to maintain flexibility to weigh the indicators against each other – such as whether hospital capacity in neighbouring areas is lower.

Another example given in the Coronavirus Winter Plan is that case detection rates would need to be weighed against whether the spread of the virus is localised to particular communities.

The plan states “given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators, as doing so would result in poorer quality decisions”.

The first review of the tiers is set for December 16.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing the allocation of tiers will be reviewed every 14 days from that date, and suggested mass testing could make households exempt from restrictions.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick insists there is “every reason” to expect some areas could be moved into a lower tier on December 16.

He said the government, advised by the experts, would look at each local authority area and see whether there is potential for movement.

He told Sky News: “There were a number of places which were quite finely balanced judgements where they were on the cusp of different tiers. Those are the places that are more likely to be in that position.”

In Tier 1, the rule of six applies indoors and outdoors, people are urged to work from home if they can and pubs are limited to table service.

In Tier 2, restrictions include a ban on households mixing indoors, while pubs and restaurants will only be able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.

Tier 3 measures mean a ban on households mixing, except in limited circumstances such as in parks.

Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeaway or delivery services and people will be advised to avoid travelling outside their area.

In all areas, essential shops and schools will remain open.

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