What MUST happen for Sheffield to move down to Tier 2 at first review next week

As the lockdown review looms, find out everything that needs to change in Sheffield to enable the city to move into Tier Two restrictions later this month.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 2:03 pm

Ministers are set to review and announce the areas moving into Tier Three and down into Tier Two on December 16.

Places which have significantly slowed the spread of coronavirus and alleviated pressure on local hospitals will be moved down into less-restrictive tiers.

Sheffield and the whole of South Yorkshire entered the highest level of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on December 2 but since then the rate of coronavirus infections has dropped dramatically in the city.

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Sheffield is currently under Tier Three lockdown restrictions.

For the week leading up to December 3, data from Public Health England shows the rate in Sheffield was 147.6 cases per 100,000 people, which means there were 863 new cases confirmed in that week.

In the week before, the infection rate in Sheffield was 181.8, reflecting 1,063 new cases confirmed in the seven days.

The government will decide whether Sheffield can be moved from Tier Three – which only allows pubs and restaurants to operate as a takeaway – into Tier Two where customers can eat in hospitality businesses – on the basis of five key factors.

Ministers analyse the case detection rate and the number of new infections in all age groups but particularly the over 60s.

Another factor that is considered before an area is moved up or down a tier is how quickly infection rates are rising or falling.

The direction of cases is then compared to the average positivity in the general population, while the current and projected pressure on local NHS capacity is also looked at.

Other factors such as the number of new hospital admissions in Sheffield and general bed occupancy due to coronavirus patients and staff absences are reviewed.

Ministers will reference local information such as if there is a contained outbreak to inform their decision.

If all of these indicators in Sheffield are seen to be improving then the city could be moved down into Tier Two.

However if the government is not convinced sufficient progress has been made to get the number of infections in the area down, Sheffield will remain under the harshest restrictions.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.