England’s tier system will be reviewed on Wednesday, December 16 by the UK government, meaning all areas could receive a shake-up right before Christmas.
The three-tier system was put in place on December 2 – marking the end of a national lockdown.
Almost all of England was placed under the toughest two tiers, with the exception of Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly who were placed under tier 1.
The four nations have agreed to relax covid rules over the Christmas period from December 23-27 but some areas may face new restrictions before this allocated window.
When are the tiers being reviewed?
England’s tiers are being reviewed on Wednesday, December 16 with an official announcement expected at around 11am on Thursday, December 17.
Any changes to tier levels will be enforced from December 19 and tiers will then continue to be reviewed every two weeks
The tier system will be voted on again by Parliament on January 27, to determine whether the system will remain in place.
Could some areas change tiers before Christmas?
Yes, areas across England could see a tier change just before Christmas.
The official announcement is Thursday, December 17.
How are the tiers decided?
Tier levels are being decided by central government and they are based on five factors which include:
Infection rate overallInfection rate among the over 60sRate at which cases are rising or fallingNHS pressure in the local areaPositive test rate (as a percentage of all tests carried out)
Could tier reviews happen more regularly?
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 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.