English reasons will today discover the restrictions they will face following the end of lockdown on 2 December.
Public health recommendations will decide on which tier to allocate to a region. The factors that will be considered are as follows:
- The number of cases and how efficiently these cases are detected.
- The rate at which the numbers increase and decrease.
- Current and future pressure on local NHS facilities.
- Local context and exceptional circumstances.
- General population positivity.
The new three-tier system will be reviewed with these considerations in mind, with the first review after lockdown taking place on the 16 December.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that the new system shows a "tangible change compared to the last four weeks" of lockdown in England.
"There are significant differences to that - more of our life can resume, more of our economic activity can resume."
Those areas that are placed in the highest tier, tier three, will offer “lateral flow tests” which can produce results in 20 minutes, as samples do not have to be sent off to a lab. This is to slow down infection rates and ease the rules down to lower tiers.
If the factors considered in allocating regions to tiers do not improve within a particular area, it could be moved into a higher level with stricter rules, to help prevent the spread and impact of the virus. Regions can also be moved down a tier should the overall situation improve.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will address the commons this afternoon, with a news conference detailing the final decisions to be held later today. PM Boris Johnson will make an announcement.
Matt Hancock has encouraged people to stick to the rules within their regions so that "together we can get out of these tough measures".
"I know for those of you faced with tier three restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we'll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding."
Steve Rotheram, the Liverpool City Mayor, says that he hopes they will not resume tier three restrictions, as the region has made progress with infection rates dropping sufficiently. He noted numbers had gone from 750 people out of 100,000 infected "to 180 across the city region".
The county of Lancashire has sent in a proposal to have the county divided into different tiers, as some areas have a lower number of cases than others. The council leaders have asked that tier three restrictions are allocated to Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Pendle and Preston, and that tier two restrictions are allocated to Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble, Ribble Valley and West Lancashire.
The government has said that the regular review of the tiering system will allow for areas placed in higher tiers to move down to lower ones before Christmas.