East Sussex, Herefordshire and Milton Keynes were the local authorities in England to see the biggest surge in coronavirus cases over the past week, official data has revealed.
Statistics from Public Health England show that infection rates – the number of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people – rose by at least 50 percent in all three areas in the seven-day period ending November 15. Kent, parts of Essex and London were also hit hard. However, the ten areas with the greatest declines were all in the north.
Boris Johnson confirmed last night that the country's second draconian lockdown will end on December 2nd. No10 chose to revert to a revised three tier system that may need to stay in place until at least March 31 – more than a year after the initial lockdown began.
Ministers are waiting for the most recent data to decide which brackets to put each agency. The breakdown is due to be released on Thursday. The policy makers analyze the infection rates, test the positivity and the speed of growth in order to decide on the measures.
The hardest hit areas, including Hull and the Northwest, are expected to fall under the toughest Level Three, which will require restaurants and pubs to close – unless they have takeaways.
The debate over which bracket London should be in is raging. The capital's mayor, Sadiq Khan, predicts the city will face Tier 2 – which prohibits indoor mixing with other households. But senior Tories, including Sir Ian Duncan Smith, last night called for the city, the beating heart of Britain's economy, to be placed under the first tier.
The mayors of the north have spoken out against plans to raise them to higher levels. Andy Burnham of Greater Manchester said they could cause "widespread business failure" in the region. MPs have warned T2 and T3 that they will be "catastrophic" for businesses and will spark a harmful new mutiny.
Whitehall sources told the Daily Mail last night that very few areas would be granted tier one restrictions, with only the rural areas – like Cornwall and South Oxfordshire – likely to have the easiest rules.
The onerous tiered system will run across England from December 3 to the end of March, the Prime Minister said
Commuters packed onto a London Underground on October 26 as the capital's millions continue to work amid the pandemic
Which local authorities have the highest Covid-19 infection rate?
* Infection rate
The above data is based on the Public Health England surveillance report for the seven day period ending November 15th, for which data are available at the latest.
This is less than two weeks after the lockdown was imposed in England, which means the effects of the lockdown won't show as it takes up to two weeks for someone infected with the virus to show symptoms and then test positive .
* Infection rates are given as Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.
The Prime Minister warned last night: "We expect more regions to fall to higher levels, at least in time, but by using those tougher levels and using rapid turnaround tests on an ever larger scale to bring R below one."
However, he added that the tightened tiers should allow local authorities to "lower the staggering to lower limits" when cases start to decline.
The previous system was heavily criticized because areas were classified in the third tier and then apparently had no way out of the curbs.
Politicians and local leaders are gathering today to pose significant challenges to the restrictions.
In the capital, Tory heavyweight Sir Ian told the Telegraph that it would need to be placed in Tier 1 in order to revive the country.
"London is dominant in the economy and we need it to get back to work immediately," he said.
Another London MP told the Guardian that they are "heavily lobbying" for the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants in the capital.
Sadiq Khan told LBC yesterday, "It's a little early to say but based on the numbers I've seen representing a slowdown in the spread of the virus, there is a decline in parts of London in some districts."
"What I hope is … London would probably be in what is called the second stage."
None of the London boroughs has a Covid-19 infection rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 people. This is based on figures from Public Health England covering the seven-day period ending November 15, the last date for which data are available.
But infection rates rose in 20 of the 32 counties last week, with the biggest jumps in Havering, Enfield and Redbridge.
The highest infection rate is in Havering in the northeast of the city, the only neighborhood where it has risen above 300 per 100,000.
According to the Ministry of Health, the number of patients admitted to hospital in the capital, suffering from Covid-19, remains low with an average of 154.7 admissions on November 17th after seven days. However, this is well below the peak of the first wave when an average of 748 patients were hospitalized with Covid-19 every day.
These levels are also among the lowest in the country, which ministers expect to mean that London can be spared the harshest restrictions on public freedoms.
Which local authorities have the highest rates of increase in Covid-19 infections?
* Infection rate
The above is based on the Public Health England surveillance report for the seven day period ending November 15th, for which data are available at the latest.
This is less than two weeks after the lockdown was imposed in England, which means the tightened curbs are unlikely to have the full effect, as it takes two weeks for someone who is infected to be hospitalized .
* Infection rates are given as Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.
The mayors in the north of England also refuse to be placed under higher levels again. Sheffield city guide Dan Jarvis warns: "We are ready to do our part, but we cannot be taken for granted."
He added: "Tightened restrictions have had a massive impact on the South Yorkshire economy.
The government said it would return to its agenda after the pandemic, but the brutal reality is we cannot wait that long.
& # 39; The government's spending review on Wednesday will have a golden opportunity to deliver on its promises.
"I have urged ministers to step up investment to give the north the best chance of weathering the storm, making sure businesses survive a tough winter, and giving us the opportunity to move forward with economic recovery and renewal."
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has had a tough time rushing into the toughest of measures.
Mr Burnham said tightened Tier Three "could be devastating to the hospitality industry and hit cities and the city economy very, very hard".
Across England, Swale in Kent has the worst infection rate in the country at 631.7 per 100,000.
The local guides there have spoken of their "frustration" that the residents do not seem to obey restrictions and take simple precautions such as wearing a face mask.
Swale council chairman Roger Truelove said lockdown rules in the community were "deliberately disregarded" as residents routinely did not wear face coverings and ignored social distancing.
An Emergency Council meeting was held yesterday to discuss why the virus has grown so rapidly in the district, home to around 150,000 people and which includes Sheppey Island.
The latest analysis of PHE numbers by the Press Association news agency found that Covid-19 case rates began to decline in most regions of England in the last week through November 15.
Only two regions out of nine – London and the South East – are still seeing weekly increases in some cases. However, the full impact of England's second national lockdown is not yet apparent in the data.
It takes up to two weeks for someone infected with the virus to show symptoms, get tested, and get a positive result. This means that many currently reported infections may have emerged before immediate action was taken.
However, the latest numbers suggest that the numbers are going in the right direction, if not in all parts of England.
The statewide restrictions began on November 5th and the most recent numbers are for the week ending November 15th – just 14 days after the lockdown.
There were spikes in infection rates in 20 of London's 32 regions last week. The biggest jumps were Havering (from 309.4 to 386.0), Enfield (from 175.6 to 230.4) and Redbridge (from 249.0 to 300.4).
Two weeks ago, the average infection rates were lower than they are today – but the worst-hit London boroughs are still outside the top 100 of the 317 authorities in England, according to the Department of Health
Daily Covid-19 hospitalization rates across England
Northeast & Yorks
East of England
These data are based on the latest figures from the Ministry of Health. Daily admissions are the 7-day average of admissions through November 17th. The percentage change is based on the difference between the average on November 17th and November 10th.
Flares of infection were recorded in 34 of 67 communities in the southeast, with Medway recording the largest jump.
Medway in Kent saw the sixth largest increase in infections in the country, rising 39.3 percent to 299 per 100,000.
However, the biggest week-to-week declines have been seen in the northwest – a sign that previous actions have helped clear cases alongside the lockdown.
Warrington saw the biggest drop in England, where infections fell 32.5 percent to 259.6 per 100,000.
It was followed by Oldham in Greater Manchester, where infections fell 30.7 percent to 519.2 per 100,000.
And Wigan saw the third largest drop, down 30.3 percent to 403.2 per 100,000.
When the tiered system returns on December 3, they will be checked every two weeks to see if local authorities need to impose stricter restrictions or can be dropped on lower restrictions.
It should be in effect by March 31st. From this point on, the tiered system ends.
Boris Johnson said last night that he hopes the country can get back to normal "by Easter" and predicted that it could if older and most vulnerable populations received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Three vaccines – including Oxford's vaccine – have stated that they trigger at least 70 percent of an immune response, leading Labor chief Sir Keir Starmer to say the end of the pandemic tunnel was in sight.
Mr Khan (pictured earlier this year) believes his city is going into what is known as Tier 2.
Britain has ordered 100 million cans of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab. Up to four million are expected to arrive this year. It will also be the first part of a shipment of 40 million doses from Pfizer and BioNtech – who say their vaccine is 90 percent effective – by the end of the year and five million doses from Moderna – with a 94.5 percent effective effect – expected. next spring.
Leaked NHS plans show they could start vaccinating older and most vulnerable people against the virus in early December. In the new year, vaccines will be introduced for the rest of the population.
However, scientists have urged caution, warning that none of the shocks have yet been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The regulator reviews data on the effectiveness of the vaccine and how safe it is before deciding whether or not to give it nationwide. It's a process that typically takes two years, but under pressure to get life back to normal, the regulator has stated that it is working hard to make a decision quickly.
The Prime Minister detailed his winter strategy yesterday, with a plan to deploy an extensive testing scheme to win the rebels on the conservative back benches.
He told MPs that after the current restrictions expire on December 2nd, non-essential stores at all three levels can be opened, which will benefit retailers.
Mr Johnson also laid the foundation for plans to allow small numbers of households across the UK to mingle over a limited number of days around Christmas.
Official test data shows that coronavirus infection rates are falling in northern England, where they were highest during the peak of the second wave, but remain high in some areas of the West Midlands, Kent, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire (darker colors indicate higher rates positive tests per 100,000 people)
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