The data released today indicates that Havering – a borough of London – recorded 332.9 cases per 100 000 people from 15-22 November. Newcastle, on the other hand, recorded 301.5. In the letter, Brown – who is also Chief Opposition Whip – writes “Despite Havering’s [cases per 100 000] being higher, it is in the tier below Newcastle. I would be grateful if you could set out for me the pathway to taking this decision.”
Brown’s letter also asks for details on the “enhanced arrangements for testing and tracing within the region given that we are now in Tier 3”. Newcastle will not be in Tier 3 until the tiers come into effect in England after national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December.
Labour Chief Whip and Newcastle East MP Nick Brown has written to @MattHancock to ask why Newcastle (Covid rate per 100k, 343.8) has been placed in Tier 3, while Havering borough in London (Covid rate per 100k, 366.8) is in Tier 2. pic.twitter.com/XQBBhS9vBB
— Richard Moss (@BBCRichardMoss) November 26, 2020
Brown also asked Hancock “Are arrangements being made to enhance testing capacity in Newcastle?”
Under the current plans, 99% of England’s population will be placed under Tier 2 or 3 once the national lockdown ends.
Under Tier 3 – which is for areas under “very high” alert – mixing households indoors in a social setting will be banned. Social gatherings of up to six people from any number of households will be allowed outdoors.
Pubs and restaurants will only be able to operate as a takeaway or delivery service.
Tier 2 restrictions – for “high” alert areas – will allow some businesses to reopen, though pubs and bars will only be able to open as restaurants. Alcohol will only be permitted to be served with “substantial meals”.
Last orders at venues selling food or drink for consumption at the premises will be at 10pm.
Tier 1 restrictions are for “medium” alert areas, which are currently only the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Scilly and Cornwall. Here, groups of up to six people from any number of households will be allowed to meet indoors and outdoors.
Venues will be permitted to sell alcohol, with table service only and last orders at 10pm.
In Tier 1, performances and shows will also be allowed to go ahead with limited crowd size. Attendance will be capped at whichever is lower: 50% venue capacity, or 4000 people for outdoor shows and 1000 for indoor shows.
The same restriction on crowd size will apply to spectator sport and “business events”, which will be allowed to take place indoors or outdoors.
Brown and Hancock have been approached for comment.
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