The government released a graph showing which areas of the country are near the border between the plains – meaning they could move down or up before Christmas.
On Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that 99 percent of England had been rated Tier Two or Tier Three.
These areas have higher restrictions restricting everything from mixing households and family gatherings to how or whether pubs and restaurants are allowed to operate.
Now the government’s Joint Biosecurity Center has created a graph published by the Ministry of Health that shows exactly where each area is on a scale.
The graph shows which places are close to the boundaries between the levels, which means that if the system is reviewed in mid-December, they can go one level down or up.
Areas that leave the third level are then allowed to open pubs and restaurants.
Areas exiting Tier 2 are allowed to drink in a pub without ordering a meal, and more people are allowed to participate in outdoor events and sports.
At the moment, only Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight are in the first tier – with the Isle of Wight being the closest to the ceiling.
Suffolk is lowest in Tier 2 on the table. If the infection rate continues to drop, it could drop to Tier 1 before Christmas.
Slightly higher in the second tier but near the first tier boundary are Norfolk, Rutland, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, and Oxfordshire – with Dorset, Devon, and Wiltshire not much higher.
At the top of Tier Two Cheshire, North Yorkshire and Shrophsire are near the Tier Three boundary.
Areas only in the third tier and whose restrictions could be eased before Christmas are Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Kent – Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire are not far behind.
The current levels come into effect on December 2nd.
More than 55 million people will be enrolled in Tier 2 and Tier 3 measures on December 2nd, meaning indoor mixing is effectively banned for the vast majority of the country.
Large parts of the Midlands, Northeast and Northwest are in the most restrictive Level 3, which makes up 41.5% of the population or 23.3 million people.
The majority of authorities – including London – will be in Tier 2, which will cover 57.3% of the country or 32 million people.
Five factors primarily determine the limitations in each area
– case detection rates in all age groups;
– case detection rates in those over 60;
– the rate at which cases rise or fall;
– the positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of the tests performed;
– and pressure on the NHS, including current and planned occupancy.
The government has said it needs to remain flexible in balancing the indicators against each other – for example, whether hospital capacity is lower in neighboring areas.
Another example in the coronavirus winter plan is that the detection rates of cases would need to be weighed as to whether the spread of the virus is restricted to certain communities.
The plan states: “Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid threshold values for these indicators, as this would lead to poorer quality decisions.”
The first level review is scheduled for December 16.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a meeting on Downing Street that the allocation of tiers would be revised every 14 days from that date and suggested that mass testing could exempt households from restrictions.
He said, “Testing on this scale has not yet been tried, but in due course, if it works and people test negative, families and communities may also be able to be exempted from certain restrictions, even if their home area remains in Tier 3. ”
Former Secretary Tobias Ellwood said the government should use updated data to make its decisions about the new restrictions. He noted that the information used to classify different areas into a plane would be more than a week old at the time of its imposition.
He also called for the criteria and justifications for the animal system to be established so that people can “better understand” what it takes to get out of a tougher animal.
He told BBC Breakfast on Friday, “I think clarity in communication is so important at this point.”
Community Secretary Robert Jenrick insists that “every reason” is to be expected that some areas could be moved to a lower level on December 16.
He said the government, on the advice of the experts, would review each area of local government to see if there was any potential for movement.
He told Sky News, “There have been a number of places where the judgments were fairly balanced, with them being at different levels. These are the places where they are more likely to be in that position. “
In contrast, Sage, Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, warned “this is a fairly early time to see how this has played out”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “I can’t imagine there will be any big changes at this point just because I don’t think we’ll have a lot of data by then.”
In Tier 1, the rule of six applies indoors and outdoors. People are encouraged to work from home when they can and the pubs are limited to table service.
In Tier 2, the restrictions include a ban on indoor mixing by households, while pubs and restaurants can only sell alcohol with a “large meal”.
Tier 3 measures mean a ban on mixing households, except in certain circumstances such as in parks.
Bars and restaurants are limited to takeaway or delivery services, and it is recommended that you avoid traveling outside of their area.
Shops and schools will remain open in all areas.