December 14, 2020 11.49 am This story is over 41 months old

“Unjust” tier 3 likely for Lincolnshire, council boss predicts

Government will decide this week

The leader of South Holland District Council expects that his area will stay “unjustly” in tier 3 lockdown as infection rates in Lincolnshire remain above the national average.

The latest government data shows Lincolnshire’s infection rate for the most recent seven day period to be 251.6 per 100,0000 of the population, compared to the England average of 166.3.

Only one of Lincolnshire’s districts is currently under the England average — South Holland with 113.7 — along with North East Lincolnshire (115.9) and North Lincolnshire (165.4).

Lord Gary Porter, leader of the council, said: “It’s looking likely South Holland District Council will stay unjustly in tier 3. Can I ask all our residents to carry on with the rules as best we can, we don’t want you getting COVID-19 just to have a go at Her Majesty’s Government.”

However, he implored economy chiefs in parliament to give more money to “our hurt businesses”.

The county was put into the toughest tier 3 restrictions, along with much of the country, on December 2 after numbers spiked rapidly during the second lockdown.

The government will announce any changes to the tiering on December 16.

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rate from Dec 7 to Dec 13. | Data: GOV UK / Table: The Lincolnite

Several leaders were disappointed by the blanket bans and asked for Lincolnshire to be broken down.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at the time that bosses would “again assess each area individually, including areas within Lincolnshire such as South Lincolnshire.”

However, with South Holland now being alone in its position and Lincolnshire as whole being above the national average, the data may speak for itself.

Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Derek Ward on Friday refused to speculate on the figures.

However, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty highlighted Lincolnshire as an area of concern for COVID-19 infections during the government’s press briefing on Thursday, suggesting some areas could face even tougher restrictions.

Seven–day rolling rate of new cases by specimen date ending on December 8.

Professor Ward said the data showed the country and Lincolnshire had been on a downward trend since mid-November.

However, he noted that where nationally the infection rate had flattened out, and in some areas had started rising, Lincolnshire was continuing downwards.

He added: “Our overall is down, but nobody should be under any illusion that we are as a county significantly above the England rate. Clearly if Chris Whitty has mentioned us in a press briefing, we’re on the agenda.

“They are fully briefed and up to speed with what’s going on, but I think we’ll have to wait to see next week where we are.”

When making its decision, the government will look at:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • Positivity rate (positive cases as a percentage of tests taken)
  • Pressure on the NHS