Bristol at 'critical point' as coronavirus infection rate continues to rise

18/11/20- Bristol city-wide drone view-ITV News West Country
More than 2,200 coronavirus infections were recorded in Bristol in the seven days up to November 12. Credit: ITV News West Country

Bristol has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections across England, according to the latest city council summary.

The summary released this week said the city was at a 'very critical point' and people within the city need to be 'extra careful'.

More than 2,200 coronavirus infections were recorded in Bristol in the seven days up to November 12, with the city's rate now at 486.6 cases per 100,000 population.

The city is now amongst the worst-hit areas in the country, ranking 18 across 149 local authorities.

It comes as 43 areas of Bristol have some of the highest rates of infection and a spike in cases in an area of South Bristol has meant it has become the seventh worst place in the country for Covid-19.

The regional R number is estimated to lie within a range of 1.2 – 1.4 reflecting the rise in cases locally. Credit: ITV News West Country

The national four-week lockdown is due to end on December 2, but it could be extended by days or even weeks.

The Government is hoping for a return to the pre-lockdown system of local tiers and, if that happens, it could include new or tougher restrictions on households socialising over Christmas and the winter months.

The Government will decide next week how to end the current lockdown as scientists warned a tougher tier system is needed until vaccines can drive back the Covid-19 pandemic.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday that ministers want to see a "significant easing" of coronavirus controls when the lockdown in England is lifted on December 2, but suggested tighter controls may be needed in the top Tier 3.

It comes after Susan Hopkins, medical director of Public Health England and chief medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, said ministers would have to look at "strengthening" the tier system.

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