Coronavirus UK: Where Could Tier 5 Be First?

People who have been locked down for Christmas could stick to Tier 5 rules in the first place if the government sets a new, stronger level of local restrictions in the New Year.

Scientists warned that millions of people in London and the Southeast whose Christmas celebrations were destroyed by a government U-turn to allow budget bubbles would likely be in the first place for tighter restrictions.

Infection rates remain surprisingly high in parts of Kent, London and Essex. In some areas, three percent of the population tested positive in the past week.

And today experts warned that these places could be in the first place for "Tier 5". The next level of lockdown rules has not been confirmed, but there is growing speculation that officials will need to work out an even more stringent program for the hardest hit areas, where schools and universities may be forced to close and stay at home Spot.

Another 8 million – including all of Oxfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk – who were allowed to celebrate the big day with loved ones, were upgraded to level 4, currently the toughest level, on December 26th.

And today millions more who lived in Greater Manchester, Birmingham, Warwickshire and other parts of England have been put on the narrowest range of measures.

Experts say the effects of Tier 4 won't become apparent in official Kentucky numbers until December 31st – which means longer-term trends won't become apparent for another week or so.

But the tremors and delay in imposing restrictions to wipe out the mutant strain of the virus could eventually result in the whole of England falling into a third national lockdown. SAGE Consultants say it is only a matter of time before the looming threat of tighter restrictions becomes a reality.

Others have warned that the UK is unlikely to be free of restrictions by the summer – by pouring cold water on Matt Hancock's claims they could be lifted as early as April – by which time the most vulnerable countries will become be vaccinated against the virus.

Another 55,000 infections have been recorded in the UK in the past 24 hours, 40 percent more than last Thursday. Another 964 deaths were also announced, a 65 percent increase over the same period last year.

Infection rates in England are highest in London and home countries after a new strain of coronavirus was identified that is 56 percent more contagious – which experts say is fueling the rise

Experts today warned that London and the South East are at increased risk of stricter measures due to their high infection rates and pressure on hospitals. But infection rates are now starting to drop in Kent (above)

Experts today warned that London and the South East are at increased risk of stricter measures due to their high infection rates and pressure on hospitals. But infection rates are now starting to drop in Kent (above)

Though not officially announced, government sources warn that Tier 5 would order schools and universities to turn off lights alongside stay-at-home orders, excluding groceries, staples, and exercise.


About 3.2 million people in England are facing the toughest restrictions tonight despite Covid-19 infections appearing in their areas.

The latest available data from the Department of Health for the week ending December 24 shows that 22 local authorities in the North and Midlands have been selected for the economically ruinous restrictions even though their outbreaks have shrunk.

It suggests ministers could plunge areas to the highest levels regardless of whether increased local efforts are holding back the spread of the virus.

In South Tyneside, infections fell 19.6 percent to 454 cases per 100,000 population. However, this did not lead to Tier 3, which would leave unnecessary stores and gyms opening the shutters.

In Boston, Lincolnshire, cases fell 18.8 percent to 234 percent per 100,000, and in Stoke-on-Trent they fell 18 percent to 722 percent per 100,000.

Seven agencies saw infection rates drop by more than 10 percent, but that didn't mean they were kept at lower levels.

Listed below are the 22 local authorities that have seen a decrease in infections but remain Tier 4:


South Tyneside



East Lindsey

Red car




West Lindsey

Employees Moors


% fall












Fall rate














South Lakeland





East staff


























There are growing fears that ministers could hit the panic button on the extra level as early as next week amid worsening infections across much of the country.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia who has been modeling the outbreak since March, warned today that the capital and home countries are in first place for the tougher measures.

"Newham, Lewisham, Islington, Hillingdon, Havering, Haringey, Greenwich, Hackney – if at all (Tier 5) in London or mostly in London," he told MailOnline.

"Whether it is the capital as a whole or specific local authorities, I'm not sure how they are going to do that, but I suspect it will be difficult to involve some authorities and leave others out."

Dr. Simon Clarke, an expert on cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, was also grim when he said the capital and the Southeast would come first in tougher action.

"I really believe it will be London and parts of the Southeast," he told MailOnline.

“They've been in Tier 4 the longest and it doesn't seem to be having any effect. We'd see their infection rates drop. & # 39;

Professor Kevin McConway, a statistician at the Open University, also pointed out that Northamptonshire is at risk of entering level 5 because it suffers from high fall rates that are rising rapidly.

"I would imagine that in Northampton there is more concern about cases popping up very quickly than in Newcastle, for example," he told MailOnline.

"They're both places that have just moved to Tier 4, but they could well be treated differently if there's a new Tier 5."

He added that capital was at risk as his cases still rose despite being in Tier 4 for eleven days.

"I would guess there is more justification for adding part or all of Londomn to a new level than, for example, some places in the Northeast that have just been placed in Level 4 or maybe Somerset or Gloucestershire."

The researchers said that other local authorities – who later entered Tier 4 – would be more likely to dodge tightening the tiered system because their infection rates aren't as high as those in the capital and surrounding areas.

Health ministry figures for the seven days leading up to December 24 just before Christmas show that the 20 areas with the highest infection rates are all in the south – and eight in the capital.

Brentwood, Essex, has the highest infection rate in the country at 1,419 cases per 100,000 population, up 238 percent in seven days.

Epping Forest, also in Essex, is the second highest at 1,413 per 100,000, up 215 percent from the previous week, and Thurrock, which is in the same county, recorded 1,339 per 100,000, up 207 percent.

Cases in the vast majority of England are now on the rise after a new strain 56 percent more contagious spread from the south, where it was first identified.

However, there are early signs that Tier 4 is the eight out of twelve Kent counties to be the first Tier 3 measures implemented in the south to see a decline in coronavirus infections.

The biggest drop was seen in the former UK hotspot Swale, where they fell 21.2 percent to 663 cases per 100,000 people in a week. It was followed by Dover, where they fell 17 percent, or 543 per 100,000, and Thanet, where they fell 14.2 percent to 488.3 per 100,000.

Professor Lawrence Young, a molecular oncologist at Warwick Medical School, today called on the government to "capture the nettle," dispose of the increasingly complex animal system, and impose a third national lockdown.

“I've been talking to friends and relatives for the past week and people are very confused about the rules for the different levels, the school debacle,” he told MailOnline, “and I think we're next to the increasing impact of infections too "When you see it, you wonder if people are still following all the rules.

"It may be better to have a much clearer message that this is a national lockdown than a hotchpotch approach of levels that is then slightly adjusted every few days."

He added that increasing infections suggest the British are no longer listening to the rules on face masks, hand washing and social distancing because if they were the virus they wouldn't be transmitted.

“I went to the supermarket yesterday and saw people who weren't wearing face masks. I've always stared at her, but it doesn't make much difference. People just don't take it seriously and I think that has to do with the mixed messages from the government. & # 39;

On Thursday, the revelers were amused on Primrose Hill near Regent & # 39; s Park. They did so despite Tier 4 measures that ordered them to only meet with one other person outside

On Thursday, the revelers were amused on Primrose Hill near Regent & # 39; s Park. They did so despite Tier 4 measures that ordered them to only meet with one other person outside

Boisterous Londoners were also pictured near Piccadilly Circus in the center of the capital, which was usually a very busy night for bars and clubs

Boisterous Londoners have also been pictured near Piccadilly Circus in the center of the capital, which was usually a very busy night for bars and clubs

This graphic was created in November to explain how the areas were assigned their levels. On this basis, it is likely that areas with the highest infection rates are most at risk of being placed in Tier 5.

This graphic was created in November to explain how the areas were assigned their levels. On this basis, it is likely that areas with the highest infection rates are most at risk of being placed in Tier 5.

The government has already unveiled plans to swab children for coronavirus before returning to the classroom to prevent the virus from re-entering schools.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson made parents riot across the country yesterday as he postponed the start of the spring high school semester by a week with just a few days' notice.

Who will the government sacrifice to get out of lockdown? Return to normal life depends on No10's risk appetite.

The number of vaccines the UK will issue before lockdown rules can be relaxed depends on the government's “risk appetite” and how well they work in real life, scientists say.

There are around 31.7 million people on the official waiting list for a sting, including everyone over 50, younger but critically ill people, and millions of NHS and social workers.

The UK is currently dispensing 300,000 doses a week, a number that is expected to accelerate as clinics use the pioneering Oxford University and AstraZeneca Jab, which were approved yesterday.

MPs and experts are calling for the vaccines to be delivered at lightning speed in order to stop the spread of the new coronavirus variant. New evidence suggests that they may be so contagious that lockdowns can barely contain them.

Labor shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth today urged ministers to "move heaven and earth to introduce vaccination at 2 million hits per week".

Even at this ambitious pace – almost six times as many vaccinations are currently in progress – it would be until April for everyone on the priority list to get a dose.

However, there is hope that some restrictions could be lifted before the list is finalized. Matt Hancock said No. 10 can lift restrictions "if enough people susceptible to Covid-19 have been vaccinated". However, he never committed to an actual number.

He argued that the measure was needed to free up time to set up testing centers for students, with the military being drafted to support massive efforts to get students back behind their desks.

Still, he has also announced that elementary schools in areas with high coronavirus case rates will also have to be closed for an additional period to prevent the infection from recurring.

However, Professor Hunter warned today that he was "not convinced" that measures to close schools – as advertised under the allegedly proposed Level 5 – would actually reduce infections.

"It will slow the surge, but I don't know if it's good enough to stop it," he told MailOnline. "Yes, there will be a benefit, but without the vaccine alone, it is unlikely to be enough to actually suppress the virus."

He warned he feared that if schools were to close, children would still meet, perhaps behind their parents' backs, rendering the restrictions ineffective.

"If they still meet in each other's homes or behind their parents' backs, it will surely undermine any benefit," he said. "It's the number you hit, indoors or outdoors, how close and how long you spend with them, and so on."

He added data from the US indicated that the school closings had little impact as teens continued to meet in shopping malls and public places, making the measure redundant.

Boris Johnson warned on Wednesday of a new "reality" with the mutated Covid, when he plunged practically all of England into a brutal lockdown by spring yesterday.

The Prime Minister expressed "bitter regrets" after it was revealed that three-quarters of the country will be in Tier 4 by midnight and added the rest of the Southeast, Midlands, Northeast, parts of Northwest and parts of Southwest to the top bracket.

All remaining areas – with the exception of just 2,000 people in the Isles of Scilly – will be expanded to Tier 3, including Liverpool, which was previously seen as an example of how to deal with the disease.

In the meantime, the return of secondary schools in January has been further delayed. Most students are now closed until at least January 18 – two weeks longer than originally planned – while testing systems are set up.

Hundreds of primaries in the areas with the highest infection will also not fully reopen as of Jan. 4, while secondary education will have to wait two weeks for the next review to see if they will have to remain closed indefinitely.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are already in the midst of their own despair amid fears over the contagious "mutant" tribe that is in turmoil.

The gravity of the situation was underscored yesterday when the UK recorded another 50,023 cases – a quarter up from the same day last week – and 981 deaths, the highest since April.

At a press conference on Downing Street, Mr Johnson and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam made it clear that hopes for a return to normal are now tied to a massive surge in vaccine adoption following Oxford / University AstraZeneca regulatory approval had received.

Even if the government manages to get vaccinations up to two million doses a week, it will still take months to supply enough populations to safely relax restrictions.

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