People in Greater Lincolnshire will have two weeks from December 2 to slow down COVID-19 infections, in the hope to go down a tier ahead of the festive period.
Nationally just 1% of the country is in the lowest tier, with 32.2 million people in tier two areas and 23.3 million in tier 3. London has been put into tier 2 as part of the new proposals.
Parts of Lincolnshire, including East Lindsey and Boston, have among the highest infection rates across the nation.
Political leaders in the region have expressed their disappointment, but called on residents to pull together to get Lincolnshire out of the rut.
Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman, whose constituency covers part of East Lindsey — the district council with the highest infection rates — said there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“The tier allocations will be reviewed based on local data, and if it is safe to do so, we will be able to move to lighter restrictions,” he said.
“We will not be in tier 3 forever, but the longer we take to bear down on the virus, the longer we will spend in the highest of tiers.
“We all have a personal and collective responsibility to our friends, family and neighbours.”
Several leaders noted that numbers had been coming down recently already as the country moves into the fourth week of lockdown.
The leader of City of Lincoln Council Councillor Ric Metcalfe said: “I am confident that by working hard with residents and partners across the city we can continue to drive our infection rates down and aim to safely move out of tier 3 in time for Christmas.”
In making its decision the government has confirmed it looked at a series of key indicators. They are:
- case detection rates in all age groups (currently 307)
- case detection rates in the over 60s (281 now)
- the rate at which cases are rising or falling
- positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
- pressure on the NHS (high currently)
In Monday’s decision for Lincolnshire, for instance, the government said: “There has been an overall improvement, but case rates remain high throughout the county, at 307 per 100,000 and in the over 60s it is 281 per 100,000.
“NHS pressures in Lincolnshire remain high and show signs of increasing, particularly for the units treating the more serious cases.”
For the Humber region, which covers North and North East Lincolnshire, it said: “The picture in Humber is improving with case rates now falling in 3 of the 4 lower tier local authorities.
“However, case rates in all ages and in over 60s remain very high. Positivity is 12.6%. There is ongoing pressure on the local NHS.”
All council leaders pushed the government’s key messages of hands, face and space.
There were 508 new coronavirus cases and 29 COVID-related deaths in Greater Lincolnshire on Wednesday.