Tier review day - could Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset move to Tier 2?

A drone shot of Bristol
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are currently in Tier 3.

The Government is due to review the tiered system of coronavirus restrictions in the South West today (Wednesday 16 December).

An announcement on tiers is not expected until Thursday 17 December.

This is the first review since the new measures were introduced when England's second national lockdown was lifted on Wednesday 2 December.

Since then Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset have been in Tier 3.

All pubs, bars and restaurants have been closed to the public unless they offer takeaway or delivery services.

The latest available data suggests the tough measures in the South West's Tier 3 areas have been effective.

The infection rates in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset are now all below the national average - but cases in all three areas, including South Gloucestershire, are on the rise again.

Current infection rates (seven days to 10 December)

  • Bristol - 115.2

  • North Somerset - 126

  • South Gloucestershire - 153.3

When deciding on the tiers, the Government looks at coronavirus cases across all age groups and specifically among the over-60s, who are considered most vulnerable.

Officials also look at whether infection rates are rising or falling in each area and the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken.

Pressure on the NHS is also taken into account.

Will the latest coronavirus infection rates be enough to move Tier 3 areas into Tier 2?

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, recently said he wasn't confident the city would see restrictions eased before Christmas.

Bristol City Council said while it is "good news" the infection rate is declining, it is "still high" and people living there must continue to be very careful.

While hospitality businesses in South Gloucestershire hope they'll be able to re-open soon, cases are beginning to rise again despite them remaining below the national average.

Health chiefs there are trying to understand why infections are increasing, as it now has the highest rate in the South West.

Speculation surrounding the Government's first tier review comes as growing pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to scrap the easing of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas.

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