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Warrington WILL move into Tier 3 ‘next week’ as Nottinghamshire could face even tighter curbs

Warrington will move into Tier 3 ‘next week’, local bosses claim, after agreeing to a £5million support package for businesses that will be forced to close.

Discussions concluded this morning with restrictions including the closure of pubs set to come into force potentially by Thursday or Friday, local media report.

Hospital capacity is beginning to creak, which councillors said was the trigger point for moving into the ‘high alert’ level. As of today, there are 102 Covid-19 patients across Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust.

The Cheshire town, home to some 210,000 people, diagnosed 347 cases per 100,000 people in the week to October 18. Data shows 730 people tested positive, and health chiefs say cases are climbing in older age groups.  

It comes as a potential Tier 3 lockdown in Nottinghamshire looms after ‘successful’ talks between local leaders and the Government last night about tighter restrictions. 

The city, Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe are expected to go into Tier 3 from next Wednesday, while Mansfield will be excluded. 

Nottingham city has had one of the most consistently high infection rates – 610.1 cases per 100,000 people were diagnosed in the week to October 18, second only to Knowsley. 

The Health Secretary told MPs yesterday that Warrington may be moved into the Tier 3 ‘very high’ alert level after announcing Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough are the latest areas to be put into Tier 2.

Matt Hancock told the House of Commons: ‘We are also formally beginning discussions with Warrington about moving into the ‘very high alert’ level due to the continuing rise of cases there.’

Warrington’s rolling rate of new coronavirus cases in the seven days to October 18 was 347.6 per 100,000 people, with 700 diagnosed. This is a rise from 337.6 in the week to October 11, when 709 were diagnosed. 

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.     

The council has now agreed a deal the Government to move into the highest lockdown tier of restrictions, Warrington Guardian report.

Tier 3 restrictions mean restaurants can open, but only until 10pm, and pubs and bars will be ordered to close unless they also operate as a restaurant. Betting shops and adult gaming centres will also be closed.

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.  

The new rules will mirror those in neighbouring authorities Liverpool and Manchester, which were plunged into Tier 3 lockdowns in the past two weeks.

It is reported councillors agreed to a package of financial help which will give £4million for affected businesses and around £1million to the council to help with public health and enforcement. 

The deal was agreed during a call with government this morning, which involved council chief executive Steven Broomhead and Cllr Bowden, as well as Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, and Downing Street advisor Sir Ed Lister.

Council leader Russ Bowden said discussions with Government had been ‘honest and realistic’ and emphasised that if restrictions increased he would ‘do all I can to ensure there is an acceptable level of financial support made available for our businesses and their staff’.

He said: ‘We have got an issue in Warrington where the number of cases is stuck at a high level.

‘We have seen the propagation of those cases into the older population.

‘So the decision comes down to capacity in our hospital as well and we had to do what is right for Warrington.

‘It is a tough decision to make but we have got to that point where we need to move into tier 3.’

Today there are 102 Covid-19 positive inpatients at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust, of which 13 are in intensive care. It runs two hospitals; Warrington Hospital whilst Halton General Hospital.

Andy Carter, Conservative MP for Warrington South, asked Mr Hancock yesterday to comment on the rapid rise in the over 60’s infection rate in Warrington. 

Mr Hancock said: ‘I am worried about the rising cases especially amongst the over 60’s in Warrington. We’ve seen that case rate continue to rise despite the hard work of people locally since Warrington was moved into local alert level two.

‘There’s an excellent, excellent local hospital in Warrington but it is dealing with a very high number of cases and working actually with other local hospitals to ensure everyone gets the treatment they need.’ 

Earlier on Thursday, Warrington Cllr Bowden said local Covid-19 cases were ‘not decreasing’.

He said: ‘We cannot ignore the stubbornly high case numbers of coronavirus in the town, with more people being admitted to hospital and, distressingly, more people being taken by the virus.’ 

He added: ‘I do have concerns about the impact on local businesses and jobs if Warrington goes into Tier 3, and I’m particularly worried for our hospitality sector and those whose businesses are connected to the industry.’  

It comes as talks over the city of Nottingham and other parts of the county entering Tier 3 restrictions are expected to continue today. 

Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe are expected to go into Tier 3 despite currently being in Tier 1. Other areas such as Mansfield will be excluded, it is reported.

It was revealed that new rules could come into place by Wednesday, announced in Parliament on Monday. 

Negotiations over the future of the county went ahead with the leaders of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council last night, Nottinghamshire Live reported.

Yesterday, a source familiar with the talks told Nottinghamshire Live that talks were ‘productive and successful’. They said council leaders and chief executives will meet again today at noon, before meeting with the minister again later on.  

After the meeting, Nottingham City Council tweeted: ‘Update: Talks are ongoing between Council Leaders and Government about the current Covid-19 situation.

‘Leaders continue to stress the need to protect the health and wellbeing of the population as well as local businesses. Further updates will be provided as the talks progress.’ 

MPs in Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe attended a meeting with health minister Nadine Dorries this morning after they voiced concerns they were not being involved in the decision-making process, according to ITV. 

Nottingham city has had one of the most consistently high infection rates – 610.1 cases per 100,000 people were diagnosed in the week to October 18, second only to Knowsley. 

A whopping 2,031 cases were diagnosed in one week. It is understood to not have gone into higher alert already because its hospitals are not overwhelmed.

But this looks to be changing – Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s chief executive Tracy Taylor said the city’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) has exceeded 200 patients with Covid-19 over the past few days and numbers were  ‘increasing by nearly another full ward of people’ every day.  

The Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust announced that the trust would be postponing non-urgent surgery until November 6 following a ‘dramatic increase’ of Covid patients in hospital. 

In a statement, she said: ‘We have made the difficult decision to postpone some of our non-urgent surgery and appointments until November 6 following a dramatic increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 in our hospital.

‘Over the last few days we have exceeded 200 patients with the virus in the hospital, and every day this is increasing by nearly another full ward of people.

‘This surge is now at levels similar to April and is combining with our normal winter emergency pressures. Unfortunately this means that we’ve had to make this difficult decision to pause some of the treatment we offer.’ 

Ms Taylor said people in need of emergency care should still attend the A&E department.

David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, said local leaders were ‘keen to robustly discuss and understand any impact of Tier 3 given the approximate two-week time lag before we see any potential impact’.

He said cases had started to dwindle while in the current Tier 2 level; it’s infection rate went down sharply from 926.7 to 610.1 in one week.

‘As part of what we expect will be ongoing discussions starting today, we will be focused on negotiating a financial support package that will help protect the health of local people, save lives and also the livelihoods of local people and businesses in the city,’ Mr Mellen added.

It comes Mr Hancock announced Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will move into a Tier 2 lockdown on Saturday, meaning another 745,000 people will be stung by tighter restrictions. 

Nearly 40million people across Britain will be living under lockdowns, once these measures are fully enforced.  

Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent’s city council leader, revealed she had written, with the support of the city’s three MPs, to the Health Secretary on Wednesday asking for the city to be moved up to Tier 2 restrictions.

She said the main reason for rising infections was community transmission and ‘people not being careful enough’ in homes, and smaller indoor spaces.

Addressing city councillors on Thursday as Matt Hancock announced Stoke’s move to high risk in the Commons, Ms Brown acknowledged the move meant ‘more sacrifice’ for residents.

But she said: ‘Let me be clear, without decisive action, Tier 3 is where we are heading and that would mean bars and other facilities closing, as well as other very tough measures we do not want to see in the city.’

It came after it was revealed that the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Manchester will reopen in the next week as the city heads into Tier 3. A local NHS boss today announced the temporary hospital, set up in the Manchester Central Conference Centre, will be brought back into use before the end of next week. It will become the first one in England to reopen.

It had closed in June when the first wave of the UK’s outbreak burned out, but there are now fears that local hospitals will be inundated with Covid patients again. The Nightingale will not be used to treat people seriously ill with coronavirus but instead opened to add capacity for ‘additional rehabilitation’.

The city is entering Tier Three lockdown rules from midnight on Friday after a week of wrangling between the Government and the mayor, Andy Burnham, because the city has one of the highest infection rates in England.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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