Brighton and Hove could be put into tier 4 from Boxing Day, national news reports suggest.
The government’s Covid-O operations committee is meeting this morning to discuss further steep rises in cases in areas next to areas already in what is currently the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions.
Its findings will be announced as soon as possible afterwards, cabinet minister Robert Jenrick told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning.
In these areas, which include Hastings and Rother in East Sussex, a new variant of the virus which seems to spread much quickly has been widely found.
There’s no evidence to suggest this mutation is more fatal, or will not respond to vaccines.
In tier 4, social mixing restricted to meeting one other person in an open public space. Pubs, restaurants and cafes are restricted to takeaway only.
All non-essential retail would have to close along with hairdressers, nail bars and indoor entertainment venues.
Both East and West Sussex have been named in several national news reports as being areas at risk of moving up to tier 4.
While Brighton and Hove doesn’t have the highest tier 2 rates in the county, cases here are higher than many areas and are rising steeply.
The latest rate reported for Brighton and Hove had risen to 216.2 cases per 100,000 people in the week to Friday (18 December) when 629 new cases were confirmed.
This compares with a rate of 98.3 in the week to Friday 11 December when there were 286 new cases confirmed – and a rate 59 cases per 100,000 people in the week to Tuesday 1 December.
Rates are highest amongst the over 85s – with more high levels found in the 25-35 age group.
Brighton and Hove ranks 166th out of 315 council areas. By contrast, in Hastings the rate is 950.8, the 10th highest in the country.
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