ENTERTAINMENT

Coronavirus UK: Nottingham among areas to enter Tier 3 this week


WHAT ARE THE THREE RULES? AND WHEN DO YOU COME INTO FORCE?

Warrington will be subject to the third tier lockout rules from midnight.

Nottingham City, Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe will be part of the third stage from 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

NEW RULES

  • People are not allowed to come into contact with anyone they do not live with or with whom they have not formed a bubble of support, indoors, in private gardens, or in most of the outdoor locations where hospitality and ticketed events are held.
  • People are not allowed to socialize in a group of more than six people in an outdoor public area such as a park or beach, in the country, in a public garden, or at a sports venue.
  • All pubs and bars must close unless they are serving essential meals. Alcohol may only be served next to such a meal.

OTHER GUIDELINES

  • People should try to avoid traveling outside of very high alert or entering an area with very high alert except for work, education or welfare, or to travel through on an extended trip.
  • Residents should avoid staying in any other part of the UK and others should avoid staying in a very alarmed area.

Nearly 700,000 people living in parts of Nottinghamshire will be caught in the toughest third-tier lockdown from midnight on Wednesday after three days of crunch talks with the government.

Officials agreed to take draconian measures in Nottingham City, Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe – home to around 680,000 people – to reduce transmission.

It means pubs and bars have to close unless they serve meals while people are forbidden to mingle with someone they don't live with or with whom they can provide a support bubble indoors or in private gardens and beer gardens have formed.

The latest restrictions in the county of East Midlands – which are expected to be officially announced tomorrow by Number 10 – mean that by the end of the week around 8 million people in England will be living under the most restrictive Covid-19 rules.

A quarter of a million people who live in Warrington are preparing for a third tier lockdown from midnight after a surge in cases among those over 60 in the city of Cheshire. Health Secretary Matt Hancock today insisted that it was "time to take action" and warned again that "sacrifices must be made" to fight the disease.

Last week, officials announced that Warrington – home to around 210,000 people – will be added to the growing list of Tier 3 regions starting this Thursday after Council Chairs approved a £ 6 million government aid package to save jobs and protect livelihoods and support testing.

Local bosses warned the cases were "persistently high" and the tougher measures were "necessary and proportionate". The Warrington Council announced this weekend that the date had been postponed to "urgently cut the number of cases" – despite government statistics suggesting the city's Covid-19 outbreak is no longer increasing anytime soon like in old times.

Mr Hancock today confirmed the decision announced by local leaders over the weekend. He said, "Infection rates are rising in Warrington and we have agreed with local executives that it is time to take action. I know these new measures will mean that the people of Warrington will have to make sacrifices, and I want to I would like to thank each and every one of them for realizing the gravity of the situation and sticking to the rules. & # 39;

There are currently more than 7 million people in England living under the toughest Covid-19 curbs, including Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and parts of South Yorkshire. Another 19.6 million live in Tier Two, which prohibits people from seeing their friends and family indoors.

Wales is under a 17 day embargo. The rules are in chaos after ministers said people couldn't buy non-essential goods. Since then, supermarkets have masked shelves with normal goods, blocked entire aisles or covered them with plastic.

Scotland and Northern Ireland also have much tighter lockdowns to stop a surge in some cases. There has been a "breaker" in Scotland for a fortnight. In large parts of the country, bars and restaurants are no longer allowed to serve alcohol and are closed. Northern Ireland is currently in the middle of a four-week lockdown.

It is therefore that Matt Hancock refused today to rule out a tougher set of Tier 4 requirements after reports reportedly considering another tier to combat the surge in infections in England. The health minister said the areas would need to demonstrate their infection rate "declining", especially among those over 60, before they could be excluded from the toughest measures.

NOTTINGHAM CITY: Department of Health statistics show how the number of Covid-19 cases diagnosed daily in Nottingham has decreased since the beginning of the month. The numbers refer to the date the sample was taken – not the time it was recorded as positive. Because of this, the numbers are delayed by a few days

GEDLING: Daily infections appear stable in Gedling, a borough of Nottinghamshire that is home to around 120,000 people. The cases increased in late September and increased rapidly until about a fortnight ago

GEDLING: Daily infections appear stable in Gedling, a district of Nottinghamshire that is home to around 120,000 people. The cases increased in late September and increased rapidly until about a fortnight ago

BROXTOWE: Infections also appear to have stabilized in Broxtowe, another Nottinghamshire borough that locals say will face the toughest Tier 3 restrictions

BROXTOWE: Infections also appear to have stabilized in Broxtowe, another Nottinghamshire district that locals say will face the toughest Tier 3 restrictions

RUSHCLIFFE: The Rushcliffe cases also seem to have stabilized. It has been reported that the other parts of Nottinghamshire - Ashfield, Mansfield, Newark, and Sherwood and Bassetlaw - will remain in Tier Two

RUSHCLIFFE: The Rushcliffe cases also seem to have stabilized. It has been reported that the other parts of Nottinghamshire – Ashfield, Mansfield, Newark, and Sherwood and Bassetlaw – will remain in Tier Two

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR DIFFERENT LOCKDOWN ANIMALS?

LEVEL ONE

Tier 1 restrictions reflect the restrictions already in place across England.

These include the rule of six, a curfew at 10 p.m., group sports that can only be played outdoors, and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.

ANIMAL TWO

Second level restrictions mean that people are prohibited from interacting with anyone outside their household or assisting bubbles indoors

Two households are allowed to meet in a private garden and in public outdoor areas, provided that the rule of six and social distancing are observed.

Traders – such as plumbers and electricians – can still go to work in a household.

ANIMAL THREE

Restaurants can be open, but only until 10 p.m.

Pubs and bars must be closed unless they also function as a restaurant.

This definition extends to pubs that sell "large" meals that, like restaurants, are allowed to stay open, but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised to leave their areas only for important travel such as work, education, or health and to return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by people outside these "high-risk areas" are also prohibited. Households are not allowed to mix indoors or outdoors.

In other coronavirus developments in the UK today:

  • There was confusion over the UK's self-isolation rules after Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon suggested that England and Scotland might have different quarantine policies.
  • Welsh "trolley police" sparked anger after women in Tesco were told they could not buy sanitary napkins because they were not strictly necessary.
  • Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to turn around plans to reintroduce VAT on sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) as Labor referred to the move as a "mask tax".
  • Older people who have been given the Oxford University vaccine will get protection against Covid-19, according to study results, as Matt Hancock claimed the first doses could be ready before Christmas.
  • The UK coronavirus outbreak has slowed significantly since the beginning of the month, according to a MailOnline analysis that indicated the latest series of lockdown restrictions are successfully flattening the second curve.
  • The UK is now seeing more Covid-19 deaths per day than the US for the first time since June.

Nottingham City Council said talks on Tier 3 restrictions would resume today after local health chiefs failed to reach an agreement last week.

This came after both local leaders in Gedling and MPs in town last week criticized the government's lack of communication about the proposed stricter restrictions and complained that they had not been invited to key talks.

An announcement is expected by Wednesday, but Labor MP from Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood said on Twitter: "It is clear that the city of Nottingham and these three counties will definitely move up to the third tier."

Speaking to the Nottingham Post, she said: & # 39;I share the frustration of my constituents that the government has been saying for over a week that they want to include Nottingham and parts of Nottinghamshire in the third stage.

“And yet they only had detailed discussions with the local councils on Thursday.

& # 39; The expectation was clear that there would be an announcement on Monday and that new measures would come on Wednesday. I don't know what the sticking points are and why it was really delayed over the weekend. & # 39;

ARE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE AND WARRINGTON OUTBREAKS REALLY GETTING WORSE?

NOTTINGHAM

Falls on October 18th: 154

Seven-day rolling average: 232.9

% Change in the previous week:: Low 40.2% (389.7)

Weekly infection rate: 540.1

GEDLING

Falls on October 18th: 39

Seven-day rolling average: 68.7

% Change in the previous week:: Above 1.9% (67.4)

Weekly infection rate: 413.1

BROXTOWE

Falls on October 18th: 41

Seven-day rolling average: 58

% Change in the previous week:: Above 14.6% (50.6)

Weekly infection rate: 350.8

RUSHCLIFFE

Falls on October 18th: 42

Seven-day rolling average: 64.7

% Change in the previous week:: Above 3.7% (62.4)

Weekly infection rate: 389.3

NEWARK AND SHERWOOD

Falls on October 18th: 19

Seven-day rolling average: 33.6

% Change in the previous week:: Above 8.4% (31)

Weekly infection rate: 181.3

MANSFIELD

Falls on October 18th: 38

Seven-day rolling average: 43.9

% Change in the previous week:: Above 55.1% (28.3)

Weekly infection rate: 258.9

ASHFIELD

Falls on October 18th: 36

Seven-day rolling average: 53.7

% Change in the previous week:: Above 49.6% (35.9)

Weekly infection rate: 288.5

BASSETLAW

Falls on October 18th: 35

Seven-day rolling average: 45.4

% Change in the previous week:: Above 74.6% (26)

Weekly infection rate: 256.3

WARRINGTON

Falls on October 18th: 77

Seven-day rolling average: 113.1

% Change in the previous week:: Above 9.9% (102.9)

Weekly infection rate: 360.9

Source: Department of Health data based on sample data – when the positive test was performed as opposed to when it was recorded in the system

Health Department statistics also show the Nottingham outbreak continues to shrink after peaking in early October. While falls in Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe are increasing, but much slower than they were.

Nottinghamshire MPs have not yet agreed on financial aid to bail out businesses at risk of bankruptcy from tightened restrictions, despite talks last week about imposing a ban on indoor socializing to combat it the virus began to spread.

Labor MP for Nottingham East Nadia Whittome claimed that local officials were asked to sign last-minute agreements to enter Stage Three without clear information on how much money they were spending to protect jobs and Company are preserved.

Ms. Whittome, Labor MP for Nottingham East, said: “Nottingham City Council has already had to spend more than £ 30 million from its own reserves to cover the cost of the pandemic.

“After years of cuts, the councils' budgets are already heavily overloaded and this cannot go on.

“The people of Nottingham also need to know that their jobs and businesses will be protected, that they will have enough money to live on if they get sick or need to self-isolate, and that they will not lose a roof over their heads.

"My constituents want to follow the rules and help contain the virus, but bans only work if people have the financial security to do so."

Nottingham North Labor MP Alex Norris said: "If the government believes Nottingham should be in the third stage, now is the time to come up with the right support package."

It comes, as the council said for Warrington on Saturday, that it would upgrade to tier three starting Tuesday instead of Thursday as originally planned.

The website states, "Warrington is currently defined as a local high risk (Tier 2) COVID alert but will be switched to" very high "risk (Tier 3) on Tuesday, October 27 at 12:01 a.m."

Initial discussions suggested that Warrington's new restrictions could take effect from Thursday. However, it was put forward based on the need to urgently reduce the number of coronavirus cases in the city and protect hospital capacity.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the rules will be brought forward this afternoon.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I thank the local leaders in Warrington for the productive discussions we have had in order to get the virus under control in the area as soon as possible.

"I am delighted that we have reached an agreement that will ensure that action is taken swiftly in line with public health recommendations." I recognize the huge impact this will have on the area and the sacrifices that will have to be made. For this reason we have agreed a comprehensive support package for the local population, companies and the council.

& # 39; The restrictions we have jointly agreed only apply as long as they are absolutely necessary. They will be checked together in 28 days. The government is working closely with local leaders to collectively address this challenge for the benefit of all of Warrington. & # 39;

Warrington was moved to the third tier after officials – including those from the Joint Biosecurity Center and Mr Hancock – analyzed the available data, including the incidence, test positivity and growth rate of the virus.

Council Chairman Russ Bowden said: “The decision for Warrington to enter Stage Three on Tuesday is the necessary and proportionate decision.

“We know our case numbers remain stubbornly high in Warrington, but more importantly, the number of hospital admissions.

"The disturbing and grim reality is that there are more people in the hospital, more people in intensive care beds and more people infected with the virus, and we must do everything we can to get this under control."

It was revealed last week that city councils had received a £ 5.9m support package to help them get into the toughest category. £ 1.68 million has been allocated to public health – including public protection, testing and enforcement – and an additional £ 4.2 million to business and employment support.

At the weekend, South Yorkshire was the youngest region to fall under the highest level of control after Liverpool City, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

When asked about the criteria for exiting the third stage, Hancock told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “The most important thing is first of all that the case rate needs to decrease, and in particular the number of cases in those over 60 because that is the number likely to translate into hospital admissions and, sadly, deaths. & # 39;

The council for Warrington said Saturday that it would move to level three starting Tuesday

The council for Warrington said Saturday that it would move to level three starting Tuesday

Two people are walking through Warrington town center today after the city council warned that stricter restrictions will be enforced starting tomorrow

Two people are walking through Warrington town center today after the city council warned that stricter restrictions will be enforced starting tomorrow

ENGLAND COULD HAVE TOUGHER UNDER CLAIMS 10 HARDER

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to mimic Nicola Sturgeon's crackdown in Scotland and introduce a new top tier 4

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to mimic Nicola Sturgeon's crackdown in Scotland and introduce a new top tier 4

Matt Hancock feared new stricter coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the worst-hit parts of England that could close restaurants and shops in a devastating blow to the economy.

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to mimic Nicola Sturgeon's crackdown in Scotland and introduce a new top tier 4.

Currently, the English tier system ends at three, allowing restaurants and shops to continue trading while pubs that do not serve food will be closed.

When asked about reports that there are plans to partially copy Scotland, which has Tier 4 at the top of a five-tier system, Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “We have said all along that we are not taking anything off the table.

“Nevertheless, we saw that the increase in the number of cases slowed down somewhat.

“The problem is that it is still rising, and while it is still rising we have to act to get it under control.

"We're not ruling anything out, but right now we're working on the three-tier system that is slowing the growth of this virus but has not stalled that curve."

Mr Hancock also suggested that a vaccine would not offer an escape route from social restrictions until next year.

He asked today if there would be a vaccine launch this year and said, “Well, I'm not ruling that out, but that's not my central expectation.

& # 39; The vaccination program is making good progress. The leading candidates with whom we are in very close contact.

"According to my main expectation, I would expect most of the roll-out to take place in the first half of next year."

Amid talks between councils and the government over escalating the stages in England, the government has come under increasing criticism for failing the NHS testing and tracking service, which should be key to fighting the disease.

The high-ranking Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin called on the weekend to dismiss the head of the organization – Tory peer Baroness Harding – and replace it with a military commander.

He was backed by Labor who said Lady Harding's position had become "untenable" after the latest weekly numbers showed that less than 60 percent of contacts from people who tested positive for Covid-19 had been traced and solicited to isolate yourself.

But Mr Hancock came to the Test and Trace Tsar's defense and told BBC Breakfast that she was "of course" the right person for the job.

However, it turns out that Covid-19 Task Force officials are exploring the possibility of relaxing the rules for people supposed to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who is positive for the disease due to their short stay Was tested in compliance at home.

Ministers confirmed they are trying to cut the time people quarantine at home from 14 days to 10 days to a week.

Scientists have publicly criticized the change under discussion, arguing that it could allow infected people to mingle with others.

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told the Today program, “If other things were the same it would certainly increase the risk of transmission as the average incubation time for the disease is about five to six days and only about 85 to 90 percent of people actually developed sick within seven days.

"So if you shortened that incubation period, 10 percent, maybe 15 percent of the people who were contagious would end up being allowed to be in public again."

However, Mr Hancock referred to France as an example of introducing a similar measure. He added, “So it's not about the compliance issue. It is about the overall clinical judgment of the time required for isolation.

"Of course I would prefer to be in isolation for as short a time as possible as it affects people's lives, but it has to be safe."

Meanwhile, the Welsh government has announced it is reviewing a controversial ban on the sale of non-essential items by supermarkets during a two-week fire lockdown that began Friday.

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething told Sky News the purpose of the review: “We want clarity on the principle that this can happen even when there are really exceptional circumstances where someone needs something that would not otherwise be essential. & # 39;

Mr Hancock also raised concerns about new tighter coronavirus lockdowns in the worst-hit parts of England, which could close restaurants and shops in a devastating blow to the economy.

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to mimic Nicola Sturgeon's crackdown in Scotland and introduce a new top tier 4.

Currently, the English tier system ends at three, allowing restaurants and shops to continue trading while pubs that do not serve food will be closed.

When asked about reports that there are plans to partially copy Scotland, which has Tier 4 at the top of a five-tier system, Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “We have said all along that we are not taking anything off the table.

“Nevertheless, we saw that the increase in the number of cases has slowed down somewhat.

“The problem is that it is still rising, and while it is still rising we have to act to get it under control.

Mr Hancock's comments came after the Welsh "trolley police" sparked anger this morning after women in Tesco were told they couldn't buy sanitary towels because they weren't strictly necessary.

Details of the exceptional restriction were tweeted online by the grocery store following a complaint from a shopper known only as Katie.

It sparked a brief disagreement between Tesco and the Welsh government when the shop accused the authority – while claiming they were false.

Katie had said, “Can you explain why I was told today that I can't buy period blocks because I'm sure they are important for women? !!! But I can buy alcohol, it doesn't make sense. & # 39;

Then Tesco responded in a now-deleted post: “We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers. However, the Welsh government has directed us not to sell these items for the duration of the fire lockdown. & # 39;

It prompted the agency to step up and issue a concise statement that the supermarket, whose location is not known, was wrong. The Welsh Government insisted: “This is wrong – products from the time are essential.

“Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold in pharmacies. Only the sale of essential items during the break is intended to prevent more time than necessary from being spent in stores. It shouldn't prevent you from accessing the items you need. & # 39;

Tesco apologized this morning, saying pictures of barriers near the items were actually only in place after a police incident that had nothing to do with the new rules.

How the Covid-19 outbreak slowed in the UK: The rate of growth has fallen from doubling weekly to just 14% in seven days as Matt Hancock claims the problem is still bigger (and even the crisis in Tier 3 Liverpool is shrinking )

The UK coronavirus outbreak has slowed significantly since the beginning of the month, suggesting the second series of lockdown restrictions are successfully flattening the outbreak's second curve.

Infections doubled almost every seven to eight days in September, sparking widespread fears that the country had entered a second wave after a break in transmission in the summer when the national lockdown was lifted.

Against the backdrop of worrying numbers, the government's scientific and medical leaders warned that the disease was increasing exponentially and forecast a doomsday scenario of 50,000 cases per day by mid-October. Ministers tightened social freedoms at the national level – by introducing curfew at 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. – and launched the controversial three-tier lockdown system that plunged millions into even tougher curbs in Covid-19 hotspot areas.

Es gab viele Debatten darüber, ob die neuen Maßnahmen wirksam waren, aber die Analyse der offiziellen Daten durch MailOnline zeigt, dass die wöchentlichen Covid-19-Fälle in ganz Großbritannien derzeit nur um 14 Prozent zunehmen, mit durchschnittlich 18.465 Fällen pro Tag. Und in Merseyside – der einzigen Region, die lange genug gesperrt war, damit die Bordsteine ​​wirksam werden – sind Infektionen bereits auf dem Rückzug.

Trotz der vielversprechenden Statistiken bestätigte Gesundheitsminister Matt Hancock heute, dass eine Sperrung der vierten Stufe in Sicht ist, wenn das derzeitige System mit drei Kategorien die Fälle nicht nach unten drückt. Während er anerkannte, dass sich der Virus "etwas verlangsamt" hatte, sagte er: "Das Problem ist, dass er immer noch steigt, und während er immer noch steigt, müssen wir handeln, um ihn unter Kontrolle zu bringen." Herr Hancock sagte, er würde "nichts ausschließen", was die Aussicht auf eine neue vierte Klammer von Beschränkungen betrifft, die dazu führen könnte, dass Restaurants und nicht wesentliche Geschäfte geschlossen werden müssen.

Die Zahlen von Public Health England zeigen, dass die durchschnittliche Anzahl der täglichen Fälle innerhalb von sieben Tagen von 3.676 in der Woche zum 18. September auf 6.301 bis zum 25. September gestiegen ist (71 Prozent). In der folgenden Woche stieg sie ähnlich schnell an und stieg bis zum 29. September auf 10.470. Der gleitende Sieben-Tage-Durchschnitt wird als die genaueste Methode zur Bewertung von Covid-19-Ausbrüchen angesehen, da er die täglichen Schwankungen der Infektionen berücksichtigt.

Zwischen dem 9. und 16. Oktober – dem jüngsten Schnappschuss – stieg die durchschnittliche Zahl der Fälle innerhalb von sieben Tagen jedoch nur um 14 Prozent von 16.196 auf 18.465. Zum Vergleich: Die Infektionen nahmen in der Woche zuvor um 26,6 Prozent zu. Es deutet darauf hin, dass sich die Rate, mit der Infektionen zunehmen, jede Woche halbiert.

In der Stadtregion Liverpool, die am 14. Oktober als erstes Gebiet in eine Tier-3-Sperre verwickelt wurde, sind in der letzten Woche in vier von sechs Bezirken Infektionen zurückgegangen. Und in den beiden Fällen, in denen die Fälle immer noch steigen, hat sich die Geschwindigkeit, mit der sie zunehmen, verlangsamt.

Die Analyse der offiziellen Daten durch MailOnline zeigt, dass die wöchentlichen Covid-19-Fälle in ganz Großbritannien derzeit nur um 14 Prozent zunehmen, mit durchschnittlich 18.465 Fällen pro Tag. Zum Vergleich: Im September verdoppelten sich die Infektionen alle sieben bis acht Tage fast

Die Analyse der offiziellen Daten durch MailOnline zeigt, dass die wöchentlichen Covid-19-Fälle in ganz Großbritannien derzeit nur um 14 Prozent zunehmen, mit durchschnittlich 18.465 Fällen pro Tag. Zum Vergleich: Im September verdoppelten sich die Infektionen alle sieben bis acht Tage fast

In der Stadt Liverpool sanken die durchschnittlichen täglichen Infektionen von 460,3 am 11. Oktober auf 387,1 am 18. Oktober, dem letzten Aufzeichnungszeitraum

In der Stadt Liverpool sanken die durchschnittlichen täglichen Infektionen von 460,3 am 11. Oktober auf 387,1 am 18. Oktober, dem letzten Aufzeichnungszeitraum

In Knowsley sind die täglichen Infektionen gleichzeitig von 154,1 auf 132,6 gesunken, was darauf hindeutet, dass die Tier 3-Sperrregeln bereits in Kraft treten

In Knowsley sind die täglichen Infektionen gleichzeitig von 154,1 auf 132,6 gesunken, was darauf hindeutet, dass die Tier 3-Sperrregeln bereits in Kraft treten

In der Metropolregion Sefton sind die Infektionen in der letzten Woche leicht zurückgegangen und von 178 auf 176,4 zurückgegangen

In der Metropolregion Sefton sind die Infektionen in der letzten Woche leicht zurückgegangen und von 178 auf 176,4 zurückgegangen

Laut einer Analyse der PHE-Zahlen ist die durchschnittliche Zahl der Fälle in Haltons sieben Tagen von 64 auf 63,3 gesunken

Laut einer Analyse der PHE-Zahlen ist die durchschnittliche Zahl der Fälle in Haltons sieben Tagen von 64 auf 63,3 gesunken

Trotz aller Anzeichen, die darauf hindeuten, dass die neuesten Sperrregeln funktionieren, befürchtete Herr Hancock in den am schlimmsten betroffenen Teilen Englands heute neue strengere Beschränkungen, die Restaurants und Geschäfte in einem verheerenden Schlag für die Wirtschaft schließen könnten

Despite all signs suggesting the latest lockdown rules are working, Mr Hancock raised fears of new tougher restrictions in the worst affected parts of England today that could close restaurants and shops in a devastating blow to the economy

The figures are available on the Government's coronavirus dashboard. They are based on specimen date, which is how many coronavirus samples taken on that day came back as positive.

Specimen date figures lag by around five days because of a delay in analysing tests, and even longer over weekends, which is why the figures can only accurately depict outbreaks in towns and cities up to October 16.

Despite all signs suggesting the latest lockdown rules are working, Mr Hancock raised fears of new tougher restrictions in the worst affected parts of England today that could close restaurants and shops in a devastating blow to the economy.

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to emulate Nicola Sturgeon's clampdown in Scotland and bring in a new top Tier 4. Currently England's Tier system ends at three, which allows restaurants and shops to remain trading, while closing pubs bars which do not serve food.

But asked about reports that there are plans to partially copy Scotland, which has Tier 4 at the top of a five-tier system, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: 'We've always said all along that we take nothing off the table.

'Having said that, we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit. The problem is it's still going up, and while it's still going up we've got to act to get it under control.

'We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we're working to and it's effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn't brought this curve to a halt.'

Swathes of the North West and Yorkshire have been plunged into Tier Three local lockdowns in recent weeks, including Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Sheffield. It has seen pubs and bars close and a ban enforced on different households meeting.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, however, are already having much stricter lockdowns in a bid to halt a surge in cases. Officials in Whitehall are now said to be considering a fourth tier to be added to the Government's existing system for England, which rates local alert levels under medium, high and very high.

The Government has previously been accused of jumping the gun with new lockdown restrictions before letting previously-imposed rules take effect.

Analysis of official figures shows four out of six regions in Tier Three Merseyside are already seeing cases fall.

St Helens and the Wirral are the two boroughs where cases are still rising, but the rate at which they are increasing has slowed. For example, the Wirral saw infections rise from just 136 to 137.3 in the week ending October 18 (1 per cent). It marks a stark difference from the 31 per cent jump between September 27 and October, when daily cases went from 101.9 to 134.3

St Helens and the Wirral are the two boroughs where cases are still rising, but the rate at which they are increasing has slowed. For example, the Wirral saw infections rise from just 136 to 137.3 in the week ending October 18 (1 per cent). It marks a stark difference from the 31 per cent jump between September 27 and October, when daily cases went from 101.9 to 134.3

In St Helens, cases jumped 5 per cent in the last week, compared to 10 per cent the seven days prior

In St Helens, cases jumped 5 per cent in the last week, compared to 10 per cent the seven days prior

NHS used HALF as many intensive care beds as other badly-hit European nations during crisis in the spring amid claims infected over-60s 'were DENIED treatment during height of pandemic'

The NHS used half as many intensive care beds as France, Belgium and other badly-hit European nations during the Covid-19 crisis in the spring, according to figures that come amid shock claims the health service denied care to older patients to stop it becoming overwhelmed.

At most, there were the equivalent of 50 infected patients hooked up to ventilators for every million people in mid-April, the peak of the pandemic when Britons were told to stay at home to 'protect the NHS'.

In Belgium, which at the time was seeing Covid-19 deaths at a similar rate to the UK, the figure stood at around 111 per million people. France was treating 104 people per million in intensive care during the same week. While in the Netherlands, which suffered a similar amount of coronavirus cases as the UK, the figure reached a high of 74.

The numbers come amid disputed claims the NHS was rationing beds and denying older coronavirus patients intensive care treatment during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, even though hospitals were nowhere near being overrun.

Those aged over 80, and some over 60s, were not given potentially life-saving treatment because health officials were concerned the NHS would be overwhelmed, according to reports. It is claimed documents called a 'triage tool', drawn up at the request of England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, were used in preventing elderly Covid-19 patients from receiving ventilation in intensive care.

In a research, the Sunday Times said the tool was used to create a "score" for patients based on their age, frailty and illness. Under the original system, over-80s were automatically excluded from ICU treatment due to their age. Even over-60s considered frail and with pre-existing health conditions, such as heart disease, could have been over the intensive care threshold.

NHS chiefs hit back at the accusations and said they were false, while 'deeply offensive to NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics'. Officials say that while early work on an intensive care national 'triage tool' did take place, it was 'not completed' and never issued.

In the city of Liverpool, average daily infections dropped from 460.3 on October 11 to 387.1 on October 18, the most recent recording period. In Knowsley, daily infections have fell from 154.1 to 132.6 in the same time.

Sefton and Halton have seen infections drop slightly in the last week, decreasing from 178 to 176.4 and 64 to 63.3, respectively. It suggests the Tier 3 measures were already taking effect, despite only coming into force on October 14.

St Helens and the Wirral are the two boroughs where cases are still rising, but the rate at which they are increasing has slowed. For example, the Wirral saw infections rise from just 136 to 137.3 in the week ending October 18 (1 per cent). It marks a stark difference from the 31 per cent jump between September 27 and October, when daily cases went from 101.9 to 134.3. In St Helens, cases jumped 5 per cent in the last week, compared to 10 per cent the seven days prior.

According to The I, sources in Whitehall expect it will be clear by mid November whether existing restrictions are working to reduce daily case numbers.

Wales entered a 'fire break' lockdown on Friday, which has seen all non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses close until November 9.

Similar to the nationwide lockdown in March, Welsh residents have been told they can only leave home for a limited number of reasons, such as exercise, providing care or buying essentials.

A row has broken out over the sale of essential items after supermarkets were seen cordoning off aisles and covering up some products.

First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted on Saturday: 'We'll be reviewing how the weekend has gone with the supermarkets and making sure that common sense is applied.

“Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in another store that doesn't have to close. In the meantime, please only leave the house if you need it. & # 39;

Meanwhile experts have said Scotland's 16-day circuit breaker, which has been extended by another week, had little effect on coronavirus infections – which are falling.

Nicola Sturgeon's scientific advisers themselves warned on Thursday it was 'too early to detect any impact on transmission from the restrictions introduced on October 9'.

Local leaders have been told by Government that Tier 3 regions need to reduce social contact by 60 per cent.

On Friday five Army and Navy environmental health officers trained in 'outbreak management' were deployed in Liverpool on Friday, as the British Army was drafted in to support Tier 3 lockdown measures.

They have been tasked with identifying clusters of local infections, helping control outbreaks and taking action against businesses failing to comply with the Covid-19 rules.

It is thought that further teams will be moved into other high-risk areas within the coming weeks. Labour councillor in Liverpool, Paul Brant, told The I he expected to see Tier 3 rules have some impact on Covid infection rates.

He added: 'Our fear is that Sage are correct to say that it won't be enough to drive the R below 1. Even if it does go down below 1, actual case levels have shot up now rapidly.

'We know from the first wave that infection levels can rise very rapidly and they come down quite slowly, so we could well find ourselves in a situation where R has drifted down but absolute numbers were not.

'If the numbers don't significantly improve, no doubt we will be revisiting exactly the same questions about whether further restrictions are going to be necessary to drive the levels down. That is the argument for a short sharp shock.'

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