Birmingham and West Midlands set to move into Tier 3

Birmingham and most of the West Midlands is set to move into the highest alert level for coronavirus restrictions.

It's looking increasingly likely that large parts of the West Midlands are now heading for Tier 3. Credit: ITV News Central

ITV News understands it's "highly likely" Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Solihull and Birmingham will move into the highest level of Coronavirus restrictions, possibly next weekend.

Coventry and Dudley are less likely - it all depends on infection rates.

Coronavirus hospital admissions and community cases across Birmingham have been rapidly increasing, which have made the case for more restrictions now 'pressing and urgent'.

The 'very worrying' position of the West Midlands was discussed at a Gold Command meeting chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

As a result the leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, says it is inevitable that the city will move into tier 3 restrictions if cases continue to rise.

Covid tiers: What are the differences between each alert level in England?

  • Medium (Tier 1) - Rule of six applies indoors and outdoors. Pubs and restaurants close at 10pm.

  • High (Tier 2) - Households must not mix indoors in any setting including pubs and restaurants. Rule of six applies outdoors.

  • Very high (Tier 3) - Households must not mix indoors, or in private gardens. Rule of six applies in outdoor spaces including parks. Pubs and bars which don't serve meals will be closed.

ITV News Business Correspondent, Mark Gough, has been speaking to the City Council this morning.

The city's case rate is now above 250 cases per 100,000 people.

The NHS has also reported that 43 more people have died in Midlands hospitals, who tested positive for the Coronavirus, in the last 24 hours.

That's the second highest death rate across the UK. The North West was first, reporting 73 coronavirus related deaths in the last 24 hours.

The city's hospitals have been under rising pressure the past fortnight. There are now more than 300 patients with coronavirus in hospital beds at University Hospitals Birmingham, including 34 fighting for life in intensive care.

Mayor Andy Street and council leaders are leading talks behind the scenes to ensure a full package of support measures and financial backing for affected businesses is in place before the measures come into force.

Read more:

Getting the facts:

Restrictions and tiers:

Tracking and testing:

Treatment and survival: