Warwickshire and Coventry will remain under Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions following the results of the government tier review announced on 17 December.
Cases had been falling in both areas until recent days, with rising cases now being seen despite efforts to bring down infection rates.
950 cases were recorded in Warwickshire in the seven days to 13 December, up 273 from the previous week. The county had a rolling rate of 164 cases per 100,000 people, just below the national average.
Coventry saw 632 cases in the same time span, up 155 from the previous week. The city had a rolling rate of 170 cases per 100,000 people, just above the national average.
MPs in Warwickshire and Coventry have expressed disappointment with the government’s decision.
In response to the announcement, Matt Western, Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington, tweeted: “We remain in #Tier 3. Local hospitality businesses failed by U.K. Government – no support. Failed by Conservative leadership at Warwickshire County Council that grouped us unnecessarily with Coventry and Solihull. Our pubs and cafes have lost their best fortnight of the year. Fact.”
Many people in Coventry will be very disappointed the city has been kept in Tier 3. This is the Government’s failure. Its mistakes let the virus get out of control, devastating lives & livelihoods.
– Zarah Sultana
Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, tweeted: “Many people in Coventry will be very disappointed the city has been kept in Tier 3. This is the Government’s failure. Its mistakes let the virus get out of control, devastating lives & livelihoods. That’s why I voted against its measures. It must give more support to Tier 3 areas.”
Five indicators were taken into consideration when deciding whether an area should move up or down. These were the Covid-19 rate, cases, pressure on the NHS, positivity rate and case detection rate in the over 60s and all ages.
The Area Allocation Table, compiled by the Department of Health and Social Care and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, was updated on 17 December to explain the reasoning behind tier allocation decisions in each area. The overall picture in Warwickshire was described as “concerning”, with Warwick being of “particular concern”.
“The changing trajectory of the epidemiology indicators does not support de-escalation to Tier 2. De-escalation now will likely lead to rising case numbers, and risks rapid-re-escalation at, or in advance of, the next review point,” according to the Area Allocation Table.
Similar reasoning was given to why Coventry will remain in Tier 3. The Table said that though the case rate in Coventry has remained stable since the lifting of the national lockdown, data shows that “case rates for all ages has now started to increase”.
Areas in Tier 3 were in the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions until 19 December, when Tier 4 restrictions were announced for London and the South East.
Government tier reviews occur every two weeks, with the next scheduled for 30 December.