Sunday 28 May 2023
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Coronavirus: Nottinghamshire could move to Tier 3 as infection rate is far higher than Liverpool

The leader of Nottingham City Council has said the Government made it clear to him that restrictions in the city will be increased unless the COVID rate situation improves.

Data released yesterday on local infection rates shows that Liverpool has 609 cases per 100,000.

But Nottingham’s cases have soared by 2,777 in the last week, with an infection rate of 834.2 per 100,000.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed yesterday the Tier 3 lockdowns are crucial to stop NHS services in areas coming under incredible pressure making them unable to carry out essential services.

And the PM hinted there were still some areas who could be placed under more drastic measures, but were fighting to stay in Tier 2 restrictions.

No statistical threshold in terms of rates of infections has been set by the Government in terms for which area will be placed in which category.

But Liverpool, which has around 25 percent fewer cases per 100,000 people than Nottingham, has been placed in tier three – the most restrictive tier – while Nottingham has so far escaped that ‘very high’ alert level.

It is understood the Government decided not to impose tier three restrictions on Nottingham partly in part because the spike in cases is predominantly among younger people, and that this has not yet spread to older people in significant quantities.

Public health bosses have repeatedly said Nottingham and Nottinghamshire should be treated together, so restrictions are easier to understand and enforce.

Councillor David Mellen is the leader of the city council, and represents the Dales ward for Labour.

Speaking as the new restrictions were announced, he said: “The Government has left us in no doubt that they could well be imposing ‘very high’ alert levels – tier three – on us if things don’t change in Nottingham, so I would appeal to the people of Nottingham, to please take these restrictions seriously.”

Jonathon Gribbin is the director of public health for Nottinghamshire.

He said: “We’re really pleased there are some parts of the county that are in a stronger position than others, but even in those places it’s really important that we curb the trajectory now and bring them back onto a much safer course.

“What we don’t want to do is to wait until our hospitals are overflowing, because that will be too late to take action.”

The precise criteria for which tier an area is in has not been revealed, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it will be applied where infection rates are rising rapidly and ‘where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure’.

Tier three, currently the most severe level of restrictions mean hospitality venues such as bars and pubs have to close, unless they are serving a ‘substantial meal’.

New restrictions in the Liverpool City region also include the closure of indoor gyms and fitness studios, along with sports facilities, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos.