Tier allocations revealed for East Midlands

The hospitality industry in the East Midlands has been dealt a huge blow with the news that the region, bar Rutland and Northamptonshire, will be placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

An online Government tool to check which areas had been put in which tier was launched this morning, but had crashed as we published.

This means that all hospitality venues will remain closed from December 2 when national lockdown measures are lifted. Retailers will be able to reopen, and people can gather in groups of six in public places.

The news will cause dismay in cities such as Nottingham which has seen its positive Covid test rates plummet from when it was registering the highest rates in the UK. David Mellen, the leader of Nottingham City Council published a letter which he had sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week that said that a “huge amount of effort” has been made by the Council and its partners – but most importantly by the people of Nottingham to reduce infection rates in the city.

A month ago, Nottingham had the highest proportion of cases anywhere in the country, with close to 1,000 Covid-19 infections for every 100,000 people. At the time of the letter, that figure was down at 236 per 100,000, which was below the national average of 240 and placed the city at 121st on the list nationally.

A similar letter was sent by the leader of Derbyshire County Council and signed by all the county’s district and borough council leaders urging the Prime Minister to put Derbyshire into tier 2 ‘high alert’ under the government’s COVID-19 alert system.

In the letter emailed yesterday, councillor Barry Lewis asked the Prime Minister to “put the hospitality and tourism businesses in our county, which have suffered so very much since this global pandemic arriving on our shores, at the core of your thinking alongside the public health considerations regarding where we are placed in the new tiering arrangements”.

Rutlands and Northamptonshire have been placed in Tier 2 in which hospitality venues can open as long as they serve a “substantial meal”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock  said the current rules will be in force for a fortnight. After that they will be reviewed every week, with  any changes being announced on Thursdays.