The Government has published this statement to say that ‘discussions are ongoing’.
Having announced Coventry, Slough and Stoke on Trent more to Tier 2 from Tier 1 the statement below was issued:
‘In addition to today’s announcement, discussions are ongoing with the following areas about moving to Local COVID Alert Level Very High:
Nottingham City and parts of Nottinghamshire (Nottingham City Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, Gedling Borough Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council)
West Yorkshire (Bradford, Leeds, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield)
North East (Newcastle upon Tyne, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Country Durham)
Tees Valley (Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool Stockton on Tees, Redcar and Cleveland)
Speaking in the House about Coventry, Slough and Stoke, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Unfortunately, we are seeing rising rates of infection in Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and in Slough. In all these areas, there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 people.
“Cases are doubling around every fortnight and we are seeing a concerning increase of cases among the over 60s.
“So we have agreed, in partnership with local leaders, to move these areas into the High local alert level area, coming into force at one minute past midnight on Saturday.
“I’d like to thank local leaders in these areas for the work that they’ve done, for their co-operation, and I can assure the people of Stoke-on-Trent, of Coventry and of Slough that we will support you all the way through.”
All available data for the areas has been assessed by the government, including the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE), the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office. Data assessed includes incidence, test positivity and the growth rate of the virus.
It is essential outbreaks are contained to protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future. The country faces a new challenge as winter approaches, and even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of Long Covid.
The government’s strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available.
Local action is at the centre of the government’s response, and engagement with Local Authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.