When is the next Covid tier review? Date when coronavirus alert levels could change in England - and how they’re decided
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We will keep looking at the data continuously’
On 2 December, England reemerged from its second national lockdown, and entered back into the tier system that was in place ahead of the countrywide restrictions.
The latest announcement came on 17 December, when Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed Tier 3 restrictions will be extended across a wide area of East and South East England – the changes will take place from 12.01am on Saturday 19 December.
So how often could the new tiers be reviewed, and when is the next date we might see areas downgraded to a more lenient level?
Here is everything you need to know.
When is the next tier review?
Currently, it is set out in law that restrictions imposed by the incoming tier system will be reviewed every fortnight.
That means the first review point for the current tier allocations took place on Wednesday 16 December. However, it’s since been revealed that reviews are likely to take place more regularly than that.
Originally, Downing Street confirmed that even though data would be reviewed more regularly, reviews would still only take place every two weeks.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It will be reviewed every two weeks, and as you would expect we keep looking at the data continuously.”
But MPs who spoke to the Health Secretary to discuss London’s recent switch to Tier 3 said Matt Hancock said the next review of tiers following the 16 December review will be on December 23, and would be weekly from now on.
How are the tiers decided?
Decisions on tiers are made by ministers based on public health recommendations informed by the following factors:
- case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, among the over 60s)
- how quickly case rates are rising or falling
- positivity in the general population
- pressure on the NHS – including current and projected NHS capacity – including admissions, bed occupancy and staff absences
- local context and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak
If these indicators are not improving, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier.