Brits confused by lockdown rules can find out what Covid-19 restrictions and infection rates are in their area thanks to two new interactive tools – if questions arise about where they might be hit next with tougher curbs.
The tools were released on the Gov.uk website after Boris Johnson announced his new three-tier system last night. Users enter their zip codes and then find out whether the alert level in their area is "medium", "high" or "very high".
Users then click a link for more information about the limitations of each level. A second interactive map allows the British to find out the exact Covid-19 case rate they are living in.
The move is an attempt by the government to make local lockdown rules clearer to residents of hotspot areas. Ministers were repeatedly criticized during the crisis for their communication strategy, which resulted in inconsistent restrictions and last-minute rule changes.
So far, only parts of Merseyside have been placed in the toughest lockdown category, which means pubs and gyms must close and residents are only allowed to leave their cities if they have a good reason.
Swaths in the north of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands have been placed in the second tier, with a ban on indoor mixing. However, the majority of the country remains in the lowest category, with the standard curfew of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
However, MPs and Council Presidents in Essex – which is currently a Tier 1 county – have requested to be placed in second grade after showing Covid-19 data warning of an exponential increase in cases in the coming weeks.
The number of infections in Essex rose from just over 700 in the week ending October 2 to more than 1,000 in the following seven days. In some places, infections have tripled in a week. In Essex's Tendring district – which includes Clacton, Harwich and Manningtree – cases rose from 26 cases per 100,000 to 81 per 100,000 this week.
The Essex Council formally asked the government to upgrade the county's status in the three-tier warning system today, which would place stricter social restrictions on its 1.4 million residents. David Finch, chairman of the Conservatively Controlled Council, told the BBC: "If we act now, we can hope to stem this surge, limit the time we find ourselves in these expanded restrictions, and most importantly, further escalate in." avoid a very high level. & # 39;
London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned today that it is "inevitable" that London will fall into a second stage lockdown this week. The British capital is currently classified as a “medium” risk zone in the government's three-tier system.
But the Mayor warned today that London will "inevitably" be pushed up "this week" because "hospital admissions, intensive care occupancy, number of elderly people with cases, disease prevalence, positivity are all going in the wrong direction". .
Lancashire is also said to be at risk of being moved to level three "within a few days" with 14 towns in the county in the northwest having more than 100 infections per 100,000 residents.
Burnley has roughly 404 cases per 100,000, while Preston's case rate is 307 through Oct. 4, according to data from Public Health England. Pendle rounds out the top 5, reporting 300 cases per 100,000, Hyndburn 283 and West Lancashire 281. For comparison, the case rate in Merseyside is 685 per 100,000.
Blackburn Labor MP Kate Hollern told the Lancashire Telegraph today that the county's massive fall rate means it is "level two today but we could be level three tomorrow". Conservative MP from Rossendale and Darwen Jake Berry said, “It's good news that East Lancashire is in the second stage, but we were close to the third stage. If people don't keep the second level rules, we will go to the higher level. We are very close to the edge. & # 39;
And the city councils in Leeds are holding talks with the government about bringing the city to the toughest lockdown category in order to get the virus under control there. The city's current rate is 422 cases per 100,000 people, after rising from 55 per 100,000 last month.
Click here to find out which rules apply in your region
Click here to find out the Covid-19 case rate in your area
An interactive tool released by the government shows the British what Covid-19 restrictions are in their area
A separate map allows users to check the coronavirus case rate per 100,000 in their community
WHAT ARE THE CASE PRICES PER 100,000 IN ESSEX, LEEDS AND LANCASHIRE?
Note: Public Health England's latest estimate is for the week ending October 2nd only. The Press Association news agency is conducting its own analysis of case rates, which will last until October 9 and provide a more accurate picture of the current course of the virus.
Public Health England: 36.1 per 100,000
Press association: 59 per 100,000
Public Health England: 346.8 per 100,000
Press association: 422 per 100,000
Public Health England: 223.1 per 100,000
Press association: 398.1 per 100,000
Most of England, with the exception of some parts of the Midlands and the north, which already have stricter local regulations, will maintain the same social distancing rules that currently apply at the national level. Liverpool (in red) is the only area with the highest restrictions
TIER ONE – MEDIUM
Tier 1 restrictions are believed to mirror those 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 – HIGH
Tier 2 restrictions are expected to be similar to what is currently in place in parts of the Northeast and Northwest, which prohibit indoor mixing.
Two households are allowed to meet in a private garden and in public outdoor areas, provided the rule of six and social distancing is observed.
ANIMAL THREE – VERY HIGH
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 will extend 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 only leave their areas 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.
Downing Street also announced today that parts of the highest very high risk will be "bespoke".
In addition to blanket closings of pubs, restrictions on mixing households, and instructions not to travel outside of local area, the government will work with local politicians and health professionals to tailor the lockdown.
This means that two neighboring districts can have different locks, one with gyms open and the other closed. This could also affect institutions like bingo halls, bookmakers, casinos, beauty salons and hairdressers.
Mr Johnson told the Commons: “The very high alert is in places where transmission rates are increasing the fastest and the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions. In these areas, the government will set a baseline for banning indoor and private garden intermingling and I am sorry pubs and bars have to close.
“We want to create the greatest possible local consensus behind this stricter local action. Therefore, in each area, we will be working with local government leaders on the additional measures that should be taken. This could put further restrictions on hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care, but retail, schools and universities remain open. & # 39;
If a company closes due to tier three restrictions, the government will pay two-thirds of each employee's salary, up to a maximum of £ 2,100 per month as determined by Rishi Sunak last Thursday.
WHO GOES INTO THE THREE BARRIER?
Liverpool is in the third tier and is subject to the most draconian restrictions.
However, Manchester has been kept in the second tier after frantic lobbying by Mayor Andy Burnham and local MPs, which means households can still socialize outdoors and bars can stay open.
London is on the verge of the second tier, which means that household social contacts are more restricted.
Boris Johnson said: & # 39; Most of the areas that are already subject to local restrictions will be automatically put on high alert. Nottinghamshire, east and west Cheshire and a small area of the High Peak will also go on high alert due to rising infection rates. & # 39;
Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon confirmed that MPs in the Greater Manchester area have been notified that their area will be subject to Tier 2 restrictions.
The Labor MP tweeted, “A call to the Secretary of State (Matt Hancock) confirms Greater Manchester is ranked Tier 2, with budget restrictions on indoor meetings in any setting, but not outdoors.
& # 39; Pubs serving food stay open.
WHICH AREAS ARE IN WHICH ANIMALS?
ANIMAL THREE – VERY HIGH RISK
Liverpool City Region
Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, St. Helens, Sefton, Halton
TIER TWO – HIGH RISK
Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East
Manchester, Bolton, buried, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham,
High Peak – the wards of Tintwistle, Padfield, Dinting, St. Johns – Old Glossop, Whitfield, Simmondley, Gamesley, Howard Town, Hadfield South, Hadfield North
Lancashire, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley
Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, South Wakefield
Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield
Newcastle, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland
Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool
Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Walsall
Leicester, Oadby and Wigston
Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City
TIER ONE – MEDIUM RISK
Rest of england
"Oldham is being removed from its reinforced lockdown measures and is finally being brought into line with Greater Manchester."
The Newcastle City Council chairman said it was unlikely that any further restrictions would apply to north-east England "for now".
Nick Forbes said on Twitter: “I am pleased that there are unlikely to be any further restrictions in the Northeast at this time.
"We need a time of stability and uniform rules so that it is clear to everyone what we all have to do."
Mr Forbes also called for urgent clarification of an economic support package for businesses affected by the current restrictions.
The decision is based on the infection rate.
However, Professor Van-Tam said the surge in coronavirus cases is now seen "nationwide" and is not just a problem for northern England.
On a slide shown earlier in the discussion about rising rates in the south of England, he said: “You have now worried me that I may have presented a bipolar picture that Covid-19 is a problem in the north and not a problem in the south.
“On the contrary, this time the epidemic increased significantly earlier in the north of England than in the first wave, and this is almost certainly due to the fact that the disease level never increases in the north and certainly in the north-west.
“But pretty much every area in the UK is now seeing an increase in the rate of infection, and this expanded brown map that I showed you, from the Joint Biosecurity Center, makes that absolutely clear.
"This is a nationwide phenomenon as interest rates move upwards across the UK."
Nottingham is a leader in England. In the seven days ending October 8, 2,763 new cases were registered – that's 830.0 cases per 100,000 people.
That's a huge jump from 314.5 per 100,000 in the seven days leading up to October 1.
Nottingham City Council expects a local lockdown to be imposed on Monday. City councils in the area urge residents not to mingle with people outside their households or bubbles.
Knowsley has the second highest rate, up from 485.9 to 669.5, with 1,010 new cases.
Neighboring Liverpool ranks third, where the rate rose from 504.4 to 598.5 with 2,981 new cases.
Other areas that are seeing large jumps in their 7-day rates that can lead to restrictions are West Lancashire (from 217.8 to 398.1 with 455 new cases); Exeter (from 229.8 to 380.5 with 500 new cases); Blackburn with Darwen (from 208.4 to 355.4 with 532 new cases); and Broxtowe (from 115.8 to 265.7 with 303 new cases).
WHY IS THIS DONE NOW?
The UK was fourth in the world in terms of the number of Covid-19 cases over the past week.
The sharp rise in cases across the country means that the UK is in danger, according to Dr. Margaret Harris of the World Health Organization (WHO) only lagged India, the US and Brazil in terms of the latest case numbers.
She told BBC Radio 4's World At One that the UK reported 110,827 new cases in the past week, adding: “We are seeing very, very large outbreaks around the world – India topped the number of new cases just last week , 504,000, followed by the US with 327,000 and then Brazil.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam presented the government's latest assessment of the COVID situation using diagrams at a briefing today
"But the UK is number four and we are seeing the number of cases changing more and more, particularly in Europe, in more and more countries."
Mr Johnson told MPs that the R-value has already been suppressed to "well below" its natural level, but said action should go further as he set out to simplify the rules.
The Prime Minister told Commons: “If this option is not checked, each person with the virus will infect between 2.7 and 3 other people on average. However, Sage estimates that the current R at the national level is between 1.2 and 1.5.
“We are already suppressing this R well below its natural level, which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it was in March. But we have to go further.
"Over the past few months we've worked with local executives to address local spikes with targeted restrictions. However, this local approach has inevitably led to different rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and enforce."
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis reported in a meeting on Downing Street this morning that the number of patients in the hospital was now higher than it was before the flat-rate ban was imposed in March – and over the previous high could be four weeks.
Professor Van-Tam also delivered a strong message that the surge in cases was spreading from younger people to the more vulnerable old generation.
And Prof. Powys said the hope that the elderly could be isolated from the rise in infections turned out to be "wishful thinking."
WHAT WAS THE ANSWER?
Many of the local political leaders in the areas likely to face the harshest restrictions have warned of the extent of lockdown and financial assistance available.
Fear that Rishi Sunak's Job Support Scheme (JSS) upgrade announced last week will not be enough to cover 67 percent of wages, and want something closer to the 80 percent that will be paid out through the soon-to-end vacation program.
The hospitality sector will be hardest hit by new lockdown measures in the Liverpool City region, said Tube Mayor Steve Rotheram.
He told BBC News that many people in the industry were "badly paid" and needed more support to keep their jobs.
Commenting on the government support package, Mr. Rotheram said, “I'm afraid 67 percent of their wages (in the hospitality industry) are not cutting it. They can't pay two thirds of their gas or electricity, or when they go to a store they can't tell if you can cut that off by a third.
“We need the government to work with us so that we can deliver a package of support that will, on the one hand, ensure the likelihood that our businesses can emerge on the other.
"Second, it ensures that people stay in jobs, and third, our overall post-pandemic economy will not be seriously affected by the measures taken by the government today."
Sir Keir Starmer said he was "skeptical" about the government's plan to take control of the virus.
The Labor leader said: “Nobody should be under any illusions about where this is going or whether decisive action is required.
Sir Keir Starmer said areas with high coronavirus rates had been treated with "contempt" by Boris Johnson's administration.
Lockdown has to become tougher, Minister admits
A senior minister today admitted the lockdown "likely" needs to be tougher after it was revealed that Boris Johnson overruled SAGE's calls for a national "circuit breaker" lockdown three weeks ago.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick admitted the government was ready to "go further" after the Prime Minister unveiled his new "three-tier" system of local restrictions – but only putting Merseyside in the toughest category, pubs and bars Bars are closed.
Mr Jenrick pointed to high rates of infection in areas such as Greater Manchester and Nottingham and urged local leaders to agree on terms for Tier 2 advancement.
But he rejected claims that the government was not "robust" enough after bomb documents that slipped out late at night showed that their own scientific advisers wanted much more dramatic measures.
Mr. Jenrick insisted that the government was "sure" listening to scientists and that the government had taken "robust" action.
"As always, we have listened to this advice and taken action, but these are balanced judgments," he told BBC Breakfast.
He suggested that Greater Manchester and Nottingham were other areas that could soon enter Tier 3, although he said there were "no plans" for it to happen this week.
"The question today is whether the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister can bring the country back from the fringes, regain control of the virus, and provide the support and confidence local businesses and communities need. That's how high the stakes are now.
“So we will examine the package, look at the fine print of the prime minister’s statement, discuss it with local mayors, councilors and leaders in the hardest hit areas, and examine the economic package that is next to them.
"But I have to tell the Prime Minister, I am now deeply skeptical that the government actually has a plan to take control of this virus, protect jobs, or maintain public confidence."
Paul Cherpeau, executive director of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, said businesses across the city were "confused, frustrated and angry" about the new lockdown.
He said: “A week of speculation and rumors has severely damaged confidence. Businesses need to understand the clear evidence of the restrictions currently being imposed – as many have worked so hard to make Covid safe.
“While our visitor economy will bear the brunt of these new restrictions, the infiltration effect on supply chains is of great concern along with the psychological impact on our citizens, business owners and investors.
"It is imperative that the start of these measures coincides with an appropriately funded and quickly distributed package of financial support, along with a clear exit strategy for lifting these new measures in our urban area."
Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has described the UK government's proposals for travel restrictions in areas of England with high levels of coronavirus as "insufficient".
Mr Drakeford attended the Cobra meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday to discuss the proposed introduction of a tiered system of local restrictions in England, the Welsh government said.
"The First Minister expressed deep disappointment at the inadequate proposals for travel restrictions in areas of high infection in England and said they would meet with great dismay in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower," a spokeswoman said.
"He also called for more clarity on the metrics used to divide areas into each tier and agreed with other decentralized executives that the Treasury's financial assistance proposals, while welcome, did not go far enough in protecting the worst-paid workers. "
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Nightly Economic Advisor Sacha Lord has opened a lawsuit to question the hospitality and entertainment lockdown.
Mr Dowden made it clear that the government would oppose any legal action and insisted that ministers be assisted by Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.
“We know that hospitality brings challenges – for example the obvious point that you can't wear a mask when you sit and eat, that you are often in contact with people you don't normally meet, and we know that The Virus lives from this kind of social interaction, ”he told BBC Radio 4 Today.
He said the government must act now to get clear evidence that the disease is on the rise again.
Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has described the UK government's proposals for travel restrictions in areas of England with high levels of coronavirus as "insufficient".
WHAT ELSE IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING?
Nightingale temporary hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate will be mobilized to help with the spike if needed in Covid-19 cases.
Stephen Powis, professor from NHS England, told a briefing on Downing Street that increased health workers in hotspot areas would also be tested.
He said: “To protect our employees and our patients, we will – with tests from the Test and Trace service – introduce regular tests for employees in these risk areas, even if they have no symptoms.
“This will help us keep staff and patients as safe as possible in these hospitals.
Second, we asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase.
"You are asked to mobilize in the next few weeks to be able to admit patients if necessary."
It will be up to the local doctors to decide whether to use it for Covid patients or to provide additional capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.
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