Calls for national approach in fight against Covid as fifth of England under Tier 3 rules
Nearly a fifth of England will be under the toughest Covid alert level as experts call for a more national approach to the fight against coronavirus.
West Yorkshire is the latest location set to move into Tier 3 (very high) restrictions from Monday, November 2; taking the total number of people under the toughest rules to just over 11 million – 19.6% of the population.
It adds to the mounting pressure to impose a national lockdown as the number of coronavirus cases and patients in hospital continues to climb.
The NHS Test and Trace system recorded its highest-ever weekly number of positive cases while a study by Imperial College London found almost 100,000 people are catching Covid-19 every day.
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Experts are suggesting a more national approach is needed to address the soaring infection rate instead of the three-tier system.
The latest data from the test and trace system shows that a total of 126,065 people tested positive for Covid-19 at least once in the week to October 21 – a 23% increase on the previous week and the highest weekly number since the programme began at the end of May.
The Government said on Thursday, October 29, that a further 280 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 and there had been 23,065 more lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
It is understood that leaders from the North East will meet with the Government on Monday next week to continue discussions on moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 – a move which council chiefs in the region have previously said they would resist.
An earlier meeting with Government ministers and Tees Valley leaders will take place today (Friday, October 30).
The Department of Health and Social Care also announced a raft of moves from the lowest to the middle tier of restrictions from Saturday, October 31.
Locations include East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-Upon-Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, and Derby City.
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England showed that Covid-19 case rates in England were rising for all age groups except 10 to 19 year-olds.
The highest rates are currently among 20 to 29-year-olds at 333.2 cases per 100,000 people in the week to October 25, up from 306.6 in the previous seven days.
For people aged 70-79 the rate was 110.0, up from 88.0, while for people aged 80 and over it rose from 125.6 to 156.7.
Government scientific adviser Dr Mike Tildesley has said more national restrictions are needed, with the current trajectory likely to put nearly everywhere in Tier 2 before Christmas.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In a sense, some kind of national lockdown, a circuit-breaker or something along those lines, would actually have more effect in those parts of the country that have not yet progressed into Tier 2.
“R is greater than one everywhere and if we don’t take urgent action, we’re most likely to see that as we’re approaching the festive period, we’re probably going to be at least in Tier 2 pretty much everywhere in the country.