New restrictions on life are coming into force in parts of England considered to be at the highest risk of coronavirus outbreaks.
They consist of curbs on meeting family and friends and going to the pub and belong to the federal government’s new three-tier alert system.
Councils in England will be put on “medium”, “high” or “extremely high” alert – with different levels of constraints.
But questions remain over how these are decided and how councils can leave them.
1. Who enters the greatest tier and why?
Some locations with extremely high coronavirus rates are not on very high alert, while Liverpool is.
In the most recent week, Manchester had the second highest rates in England, putting it ahead of all but one area (Knowsley) in the Liverpool City Area, but it is just high alert. Similarly, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield presently rank higher in case rates than much of Liverpool, however aren’t in the very same tier as it.
We asked the Department of Health to describe this. It indicated that the reasons include:
Number and increase of coronavirus cases
The positivity rate (or the percentage of tests that return favorable).
Pressures on the NHS.
Which age are being infected.
The 6 local authorities that comprise the Liverpool City Region collectively have really high case rates. On the other hand, the locations that make up Greater Manchester do rank highly, however just a little listed below those of the Liverpool City Region. And in current weeks, this case rate has increased quicker in Liverpool than Manchester.
Current health center data is not available at a local level. However, throughout September, the number of beds inhabited with validated coronavirus patients in the major hospitals in the Liverpool City Area increased quicker than in Greater Manchester. This data, nevertheless, just increases to the start of October.
Localised information does not inform us who is capturing the infection.
However, taking a look at extremely localised case rates in England, the 2 worst “hotspots” (out of 7,200 locations in the nation) were the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
If students are increasing rates in some local authorities in a controlled setting such as a university campus, it might explain why an extremely high alert has not been presented, as this age is not considered high danger.
And if there is a hotspot in a regional authority with an older population – as is being suggested when it comes to Liverpool – this might lead public health officials to take more powerful precautions.
2. How do councils get out of the highest tier?? This hasn’t been laid out.
The federal government states it will examine extremely high threat areas every four weeks, but has actually not described what would be considered as appropriate development. It’s likely it will take a look at some of the aspects pointed out above.
It’s worth explaining that some areas which have previously entered into regional lockdowns have seen them loosened up as soon as development was made, consisting of Luton, Leicester and Oadby and Wigston.
3. What function are regional mayors playing?? The nine directly-elected English mayors, six of whom are in the North and the Midlands, have no formal control over public health guidelines.
Nevertheless, when asked about his power to put Greater Manchester, which is currently on high alert, into very high alert constraints, Mayor Andy Burnham told the BBC: “if we were to ask the government for it, we would get it.”.
Likewise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed a Downing Street press conference yesterday that the additional constraints in Merseyside had actually “been concurred with” the regional mayor.
This was contested by the local urbane mayor Steve Rotheram who said they had been “dictated to us”.
It is unclear whether a mayor would have the power to resist being put into among the tiers.
Skip Twitter post by Derek I’ve been saying throughout the day it’s completely false that myself or anybody else locally accepted steps – they were dictated to us by government.
The only talks had to do with the additional money and resources that are coming to the city area to assist handle the effects.– Steve Rotheram October 12, 2020 Report.
In the locations with the most serious regional limitations, the prime minister suggested that “the federal government will set a standard” and after that “deal with local government leaders on the extra steps which should be taken”.
4. Why don’t dining establishments and clubs serving food need to close?? On 21 September, the government’s scientific advisors called for the immediate momentary closure of all bars, dining establishments and coffee shops. They kept in mind that going to them was associated with “increased risk” and that break outs had actually been linked to these venues.
But hospitality places in practically all parts of England have actually been permitted to stay open, subject to a 10pm curfew and other guidelines.
Even in locations facing the tightest limitations, restaurants can stay open. Bars and bars can do the very same if they serve “significant meals”, while alcohol can just be served together with food.
We asked the government why such locations were exempt.
It stated that although they were thought about “higher threat environments than other indoor settings … by limiting the length of time customers invest in these venues, we are making them much safer and reducing the danger of transmission”.
It’s a different story in central Scotland where most licensed facility – including pubs, bars and dining establishments – have actually closed for at least two weeks as part of a” circuit breaker” attempt to reduce viral transmission.
5. Why is UK take a trip restricted but not some foreign travel?? Individuals need to prevent travelling in and out of areas under the greatest alert level, aside from for factors like work or education, the government says.
It also encourages locals under really high alert not to remain overnight in other areas.
However no extra restrictions on foreign travel from the impacted locations have been used.
At present, the federal government in England does not advise versus non-essential journeys to nations on its” travel corridor” list.
So to fly to one of these destinations from Liverpool Airport – which is under the greatest alert level – would not be breaking government suggestions, however to go on holiday in the rest of the UK would.
We asked the government for the rationale behind this choice, however this has not yet been provided.
Reporting by Eleanor Lawrie, Ben Butcher and Oliver Barnes.
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