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Coronavirus UK: ALL of Nottinghamshire in Tier 3 lockdown from Friday

All of Nottinghamshire will be dragged into Tier Three restrictions amid spiralling coronavirus cases, it was revealed today, as Bristol sparked confusion by designing its own Tier One Plus level and West Yorkshire continued to negotiate with the Government over plans to pull it into Tier Three measures. 

Almost 1.2million people living in the region will face the harshest lockdown restrictions from Friday, after four of the eight local authorities – Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Mansfield and Newark – initially escaped the most stringent restrictions. 

Only the city of Nottingham and three neighbouring local authorities were set to enter Tier Three at midnight tonight. But, after extending the measures to the whole county, this deadline has been pushed back by 24 hours – although the restrictions are still set to last 28 days. 

Details of the exact restrictions to be introduced are yet to be announced although they are expected to include the closure of pubs and bars not serving substantial food. It is unclear whether gyms and hairdressers will also be forced to pull down the shutters.

It comes as Bristol City Council adds its own layer to the multitude of Covid-19 rules by imposing its own, locally-designed Tier One Plus curbs. The extra level, which is not endorsed by ministers, will see eight Covid-19 marshals on the street to ensure compliance with national measures, more support for test and trace and messaging to encourage people to stick to the rules. 

West Yorkshire entered negotiations on moving into Tier Three yesterday, with discussions focusing on how to strengthen test and trace and support the vulnerable while protecting jobs and livelihoods.

But Kirklees – one of the five local authorities facing tougher measures – has unanimously rejected the proposals, and warned ministers they will not sign up to the controls without a ‘clear exit strategy’.  It is recording the lowest infection rate in West Yorkshire, at 388.4 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 22, but this is more than double the average for England at 181 per 100,000 on the week ending October 18. 

Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire are also in talks with ministers about being moved to Tier 2. Hull’s infection rate shot up to 248.3 per 100,000 in the week ending October 22.

West Yorkshire may be next to move into Tier 3 affecting 1.8million people. If it were to be plunged into Tier Three, it would follow neighbours South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire may also be moved into Tier 2

Kirklees has the lowest infection rate in the West Yorkshire region. All of Nottinghamshire  may be moved into Tier 3

Kirklees has the lowest infection rate in the West Yorkshire region. All of Nottinghamshire  may be moved into Tier 3

NOTTINGHAM CITY: Coronavirus cases in this area have started to decrease since October 1, ahead of tighter restrictions being imposed across the area. It will be moving into Tier Three

NOTTINGHAM CITY: Coronavirus cases in this area have started to decrease since October 1, ahead of tighter restrictions being imposed across the area. It will be moving into Tier Three

MANSFIELD: This region was set to join Tier Two but ministers have now decided to move it into Tier Three

MANSFIELD: This region was set to join Tier Two but ministers have now decided to move it into Tier Three

BASSETLAW: After a continuing spike in infections in the local area, Bassetlaw will also be moved to Tier Three

BASSETLAW: After a continuing spike in infections in the local area, Bassetlaw will also be moved to Tier Three

NEWARK AND SHERWOOD: The constituency of Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is also set to face the harshest lockdown restrictions. Its case rate is stable, as shown by the graph, but it is not falling

NEWARK AND SHERWOOD: The constituency of Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is also set to face the harshest lockdown restrictions. Its case rate is stable, as shown by the graph, but it is not falling

ASHFIELD: This local area will also be joining Tier Three restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases there continue to rise

ASHFIELD: This local area will also be joining Tier Three restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases there continue to rise

CANCER OPERATIONS CANCELLED IN NOTTINGHAM AHEAD OF TIER THREE MEASURES

Nottingham hospital bosses have begun cancelling cancer operations due to ‘pressure on intensive care units’.

The city and neighbouring boroughs are preparing for Tier Three restrictions to come into force on Thursday – while a surge in cases has meant that the rest of Nottinghamshire looks set to follow. 

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust medical director Keith Girling said the trust had taken the ‘extremely difficult decision’ to postpone four cancer operations this week.

The head of the NHS trust, which runs Nottingham’s two main hospitals, previously said some non-urgent surgery and appointments would have to be cancelled because of a spike in Covid-19 admissions.

It is understood the trust has not implemented a blanket cancellation of cancer operations.

Confirming the cancellation of some operations, Dr Girling said: ‘We’ve had to make the extremely difficult decision to postpone operations for four of our cancer/pre-cancer patients this week due to pressure on our intensive care units from both Covid-19 and non-Covid related emergencies.

‘We expect to treat one of the postponed patients next week, and we’re in contact with the others to arrange a new date, which will be imminent.

‘This delay, however short, will be incredibly hard for the patients and their families, and I’m truly sorry for any distress this will have caused.

‘We are working closely with partners, and from next week we will be increasing our work with the independent sector to ensure we can continue to carry out urgent and cancer operations.’ 

It is understood the trust is testing elective patients ahead of admission as well as inpatients regularly – with 6,000 having been tested so far.

Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood said the full announcement of Tier Three restrictions in the city, which was expected on Tuesday, had been delayed because ministers wanted to extend the restrictions further afield.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday evening, the Labour MP said: ‘Yesterday we were told that we’re going into Tier 3 on Thursday.

’24 hours later and the public still don’t know what that means, businesses are unable to plan, people don’t know whether they’ll be going into work on Thursday.

‘The Government still haven’t provided the public with the information that explains why extra restrictions are needed or what those restrictions will be. Public trust is being undermined by their woeful communications.

‘Now we hear the announcement has been delayed because ministers want to extend Tier 3 to all of Nottinghamshire – as I & others have been saying for days. 

‘Once again this Government are dithering and delaying – and our constituents, our hospitals and local businesses in our city are paying the price.’ 

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Nottinghamshire County Council confirmed to MailOnline that the whole county will be entering Tier Three restrictions. They are planning to hold a press conference this afternoon including council leader Kay Cutts.

Ministers held a crisis meeting with the four local authorities initially earmarked for Tier Two at 9am today, ahead of making the decision.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, the leader of Ashfield district council who was at the meeting, told Nottinghamshire Live they got a concession from the Government by demanding the imposition of restrictions must be pushed back by 24 hours  to Friday morning.

‘It wasn’t really a consultation or asking what we are ok with, it was them telling us that we are doing it,’ he said.

‘The main concession we got is that they wanted to implement it tonight at midnight which was frankly a joke.

‘It was the main argument of the meeting but it would have meant giving a load of businesses 12 hours notice to close. That is ludicrous and it would have been us having to do it.’

He added: ‘The CCG and health leaders were pressing that if they don’t get a grip on the curve then hospitals won’t have capacity to cope.

‘In Mansfield and Ashfield the whole problem is with the over 60s, and the curve is going up dramatically with people in intensive care and needing ventilator treatment.’

Councillor Francis Purdue-Horan, the joint vice chair of adult social care and public health at Rushcliffe council, told MailOnline that the Government had been trying to impose restrictions in the area for three weeks.

‘It all went a bit pear-shaped on Wednesday,’ he said.

‘Monday we had the official announcement but no additional detail. That was promised on Tuesday and – up until last night – we had no extra words.

‘Then we got a communication from the county hall about 7.30pm that they were still waiting to hear from the Government to confirm whether we were going ahead from Thursday into lockdown for Nottingham city and the three boroughs.

‘And then it emerged late last night that an urgent meeting had been called for 9am with the other districts (set to move into Tier Two).’

He said the meeting was also attended by Conservative Housing Minister Chris Pincher. 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, whose Newark constituency dodged Tier Three in the first round of talks, has told the BBC that it ‘makes sense’ to bring the whole of Nottinghamshire into the highest level of restrictions.  

Nottingham City recorded a 36.7 per cent fall in its infection rate on October 18 compared to the previous week, the latest for which data is available, when it dropped from 926.7 to 586.7 cases per 100,000 people. But in the surrounding Nottinghamshire region the infection rate rose by 16.9 per cent in the same time period, climbing from 220.5 to 257.7 per 100,000.

The two main hospitals in Nottingham city have also begun to cancel cancer operations, as the number of Covid-19 patients they are treating jumps above the levels they saw at the height of the first wave in April.

Warning of impending restrictions for the whole region this morning, the MP for Ashfield Lee Anderson told constituents: ‘I have been on the phone last night and this morning to senior Government officials and other MPs.

‘I will be totally honest with you in that I expect the whole of Nottinghamshire to be put into Tier Three. This is something I strongly opposed but the latest figures are hard to argue against. Our rates are rising while the City’s are falling.’ 

Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield, warned this morning that there’s been a ‘big spike’ in North Nottinghamshire, with cases in Mansfield rising by more than 50 per cent to levels similar to Tier 3 area Broxtowe.

‘Please stay safe, stick to the rules, and let’s do our best to try and get a handle on this,’ he said.

‘Despite having been excluded from Tier Three in those early talks, there’s still a real risk that if numbers continue like this that we might end up in those higher restrictions.’ 

BRISTOL: The city has imposed its own Tier One Plus restrictions in response to rising infections, in an attempt to head off the risk of it being forced into Tier Two

BRISTOL: The city has imposed its own Tier One Plus restrictions in response to rising infections, in an attempt to head off the risk of it being forced into Tier Two

KIRKLEES: The council area in West Yorkshire is resisting attempts to put it into Tier Three, saying it will not agree until ministers set out a clear exit strategy

KIRKLEES: The council area in West Yorkshire is resisting attempts to put it into Tier Three, saying it will not agree until ministers set out a clear exit strategy

HULL: This city along with the East Riding of Yorkshire is facing being placed into Tier Two in response to surging infections

HULL: This city along with the East Riding of Yorkshire is facing being placed into Tier Two in response to surging infections

WHAT IS TIER ONE PLUS? 

Bristol City Council today sparked confusion by announcing it will be imposing its own Tier One Plus.

The restrictions, which were designed by local officials and are not approved by the Government, are already in force, local leaders said in a press conference.

Bristol had a case rate of 323.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 22. This is the latest date for which data is available.

The levels are far above the 181 cases per 100,000 for England, as of the week ending 18 October, but it is thought that the vast majority of infections are among students in the city.

It has two thriving universities – with 50,000 students between them – which have both had to lockdown halls in response to outbreaks.

They will involve the following:

  • Recruitment of eight Covid-19 marshalls to ensure restrictions are imposed including the rule of six and social distancing
  • Messaging to be given out informing the public how to safely use public spaces;
  • Additional support for test and trace to curb the rise in infections in the region; 
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Bristol City Council held a press conference this morning to announce it will move into Tier One Plus shortly.

Mayor Marvin Rees said they had already moved into the locally-designed level of restrictions, which he hoped would stop the city being pushed into Tier Two.

‘We are looking at a Tier One Plus approach,’ he said, with ‘targeted actions’ aiming to quell surging infections. 

He added the council will be employing eight Covid-19 marshalls to ensure restrictions are observed  

As many as 400 penalties for breaking Covid-19 restrictions have been handed out in the city since March, with 37 issued at the start of October.

Bristol had a case rate of 323.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 22. This is the latest date for which data is available.

The levels are far above the 181 cases per 100,000 for England, as of the week ending 18 October, but it is thought that the vast majority of infections are among students in the city.

It has two thriving universities – with 50,000 students between them – which have both had to lockdown halls in response to outbreaks.

West Yorkshire is facing Tier Three restrictions. But Kirklees council, in the region, warned last night in a cross-party statement it would not accept tighter restrictions without a clear exit strategy. 

They said: ‘Rising infection rates in Kirklees and the pressure that is having on the NHS is something we must take seriously, and we need to do all we can to improve this situation so we can save lives. However, we do not believe Tier Three restrictions are the best way for us to do this.

‘The closure of our pubs and bars will have a devastating impact on our economy and people’s livelihoods, and we have not seen the evidence that this will directly impact on infection rates.

‘We instead need to continue the work we are doing at a local level, on the ground, in our communities. We are already seeing positive results from this work, with Kirklees now having the lowest rates in West Yorkshire. We’re urging the Government to give us more resources to build on this.’ 

‘For these reasons, Kirklees’ Outbreak Control Board has unanimously agreed to urge the Government not to place Kirklees in Tier 3 and to instead let us build on the work we’re doing to prevent the spread of the virus locally.’

Labour MP for Huddersfield Barry Sheerman tweeted yesterday: ‘A challenging but encouraging meeting of the Kirklees Outbreak Group involving all four MPs & Council Leaders.

‘We are together determined to make the case for staying in Tier 2 and working together to beat the virus!’

He told Yorkshire Live yesterday that the disease is ‘rampant’ in the region with rates going up and hospitals ‘under pressure’.

‘I think they are going to put us in the next tier quite soon,’ he added. ‘It’s inevitable.’ 

Ministers often step in to curb rises in infections in response to projected constraints with space in hospitals, and fears they could become overwhelmed.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which provides healthcare in the region, is yet to move to cancel operations or state that it has capacity concerns.

The trust had 13 critical care beds as of February 2020, the last date for which data is available, according to information released by the NHS.

When the council was moved into Tier 2 on October 14, the Government provided a further £7.6million to Kirklees council to support vital services.

Conservative MP Mark Eastwood said the support was ‘hugely welcome’ and will help ‘ease financial pressures’.

He added: ‘Just like we said we would stand behind people whose jobs are at risk, this Conservative Government is keeping its promise to local authorities and ensuring they have the resources they need to continue supporting people.’

More than 400,000 people live in the Kirklees area.

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER: Cases in the region, along with the whole of the North of England, have been rising rapidly

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER: Cases in the region, along with the whole of the North of England, have been rising rapidly

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER: Deaths in the region are also beginning to rise following a further spread of the virus

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER: Deaths in the region are also beginning to rise following a further spread of the virus

WHAT ARE THE RULES IN DIFFERENT TIERS OF LOCKDOWN?

TIER ONE 

Tier one restrictions mirror those already in place across England.

These include the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.  

TIER TWO 

Tier two restrictions mean people are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting

Two households may be allowed to meet in a private garden and public outdoor spaces, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.

Tradespeople – such as plumbers and electricians – can continue to go into a household for work. 

TIER THREE 

Restaurants can open, but only until 10pm. 

Pubs and bars will be ordered to close unless they also operate as a restaurant.

This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.     

 

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It is among five local authorities that make up West Yorkshire – which also includes Leeds, Calderdale, Bradford and Wakefield – where talks are ongoing about moving the whole region into Tier 3.

Department of Health statistics show cases are rising across all five areas of West Yorkshire — with almost 9,000 new infections in the week ending October 21. But the Covid-19 outbreak in Leeds appears to have stabilised after soaring at the end of September, according to government statistics. 

Nonetheless, the pressure from the virus is being felt in the region, with Leeds hospital trust stating it now has more Covid-19 patients than at the height of the pandemic.

In a tweet last night, they said: ‘We have 263 patients in our beds who have tested positive for Covid-19, including 22 in intensive care. This means we have more Covid-19 patients in our hospitals than at the peak of the pandemic in mid-April.

The Trust possesses 104 critical care beds, according to figures from February this year, of which around 80 are typically occupied at this time of year.

Hull is also in talks about moving into Tier 2 restrictions, the city’s Public Health chief has confirmed this morning.

Julia Weldon told Viking FM that the city may be moved into the tightened measures alongside the whole of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

‘Hull’s rate and that in the wider Yorkshire and Humber region is increasing rapidly,’ she said. ‘We have been clear since the implementation of coronavirus tier alert system that we anticipated a move from medium to high.

‘Currently, we are in ongoing conversations with Government about if and when this might happen. Any change to our local alert level will be communicated publicly, clearly, and at the earliest opportunity.

‘It is absolutely vital that regardless of which tier of restrictions we are subject to, we all do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus.

‘We have all had many months of this and, as we head into winter, it certainly doesn’t get easier. But now, more than ever, we must keep going.’

The infection rate for Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire – at 248.3 and 238.9 per 100,000 – is below neighbouring York – at 299.6 – and North East Lincolnshire – at 319.6 – which are not thought to be in talks about tighter restrictions.

It comes after SAGE warned that the UK’s second wave of the pandemic could be more deadly than the first, with deaths peaking at a lower level but staying at this height for far longer than the first time.

The scientific advisory group has also called for a national lockdown in December, warning escalating infections could force the whole country into Tier 3 by the middle of the month.

But Mr Johnson is facing a difficult balancing act with advisers calling for tougher restrictions while Tory MPs demand the PM set out a lockdown exit strategy.

The Northern Research Group of more than 50 Red Wall MPs is adamant the PM must announce a road map for how areas can get out of Tier Three as rebels warned the north of England is being unfairly treated.

The group’s efforts received a boost from Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday as he said he shared the MPs’ frustrations at rules being imposed and ‘you want to know when it is going to be over’.

Despite the warnings from SAGE, Environment Secretary George Eustice insisted this morning a national lockdown is ‘not appropriate’ because there is ‘no point having a lockdown in those parts of the country where the incidence of the disease is very low’.

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