Matt Hancock to announce Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire tier review result in Parliament


Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the latest coronavirus tiers to the House of Commons this afternoon.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a meeting of the Covid Operation Committee yesterday where leading politicians discussed the latest batch of coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Hancock is then expected to address Parliament from 3pm where he will announce any changes to the current tier system.

With vast swathes of the South East plunged into a new Tier 4 just before Christmas and a record 53,135 positive cases yesterday, it may seem unlikely many areas will move down a tier.

Epidemiology expert Professor Andrew Hayward, from the University College of London, said he expected a tightening of coronavirus restrictions to be announced.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast he said: “I think we’re really facing a very stark choice between many tens of thousands of avoidable deaths despite the vaccine or tighter restrictions across the country that will damage our economy.

“I think the scale of the threat that we face means that we really will need to tighten across the country and I would expect that to be the decision today.”

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He said it was “early days yet” to see whether Tier 4 restrictions in England had helped control the spread of the virus.

What is the picture locally?

Stoke-on-Trent, the entirety of Staffordshire, and Cheshire East, are currently subject to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

Under the current Tier 3 rules families cannot meet inside or in private gardens unless they are part of a support bubble.

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Outdoor meetings in parks, beaches, public gardens, or heritage sites can take place so long as social distancing and the rule of six are adhered to.

Hospitality such as pubs and restaurants as well as hotels and guest houses have been forced to close in Tier 3.

Stoke-on-Trent currently has an infection rate of 281.6 per 100,000 people with 722 cases in the past seven days.

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Meanwhile Staffordshire has an infection rate of 268.1 cases per 100,000 with 2,358 cases in the last week.

And Cheshire East has an infection rate of 238.4 cases in 100,000 people with 916 in the last week.

Currently the infection rate for the entirety of England lies at 402.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Follow our live coronavirus updates throughout the day here.





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