Tier 3 rules: How does an area exit Tier 3?

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Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions have now descended on parts of the country, containing COVID-19 “hotspots” in an effort to deter national measures. The Government’s latest approach to controlling the virus has imposed local versions of national restrictions the country experienced as a whole in March. But much like back then, Tier 3 communities and their leaders have to deal with a lot of uncertainty surrounding how long they will last.

How does an area exit Tier 3?

Local councils have called for an “exit strategy” to leave Tier 3, which has introduced various economic challenges to regions across the country.

The Government ushered in Tier 3 measures in South Yorkshire yesterday, but Sheffield City Region’s mayor Dan Jarvis has called for clarification.

He wanted officials to “define precisely what the exit criteria is” as his region prepared for punishing lockdown restrictions.

But so far, ministers have done little to assuage reservations from different councils.

Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions last week, Boris Johnson only offered a nebulous plan of action.

He said: “Obviously the R is one of the measures that we look at.

“We’ll take a decision based on a number of things, including the R but also of course rates of infection, rates of admission to hospital and other data.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock did little to expand on Mr Johnson’s plans when speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

He once again touched on the case rate, adding which populations would receive additional attention.

Mr Hancock said: “The first thing that’s most important is that the case rate has to be coming down.

“And in particular we look at the number of cases amongst the over-60s because that’s the number that is likely to translate into hospital admissions and sadly into deaths.”

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He added: “Unfortunately it’s (NHS data) showing that hospitalisations are still going up and that they are again doubling every fortnight or so.

“There’s just under 100,000 beds in the NHS as a whole and you can see how many of those are taken up by people with Covid.”

The Government said it would review Tier 3 regions every 28 days until case levels drop.

But they have faced protests from most areas now under the measures, with many stating they have received little support to survive in economically unsustainable conditions.

The following areas are now under Tier 3 measures:

  • Liverpool and Merseyside
  • Lancashire
  • Greater Manchester
  • South Yorkshire

Warrington will follow tomorrow, on October 27.

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