Birmingham to go into Tier 3 after national lockdown ends

Birmingham will be placed into Tier Three, the highest level of Covid restrictions, when the national lockdown ends next week, the Government announced today.

The measures will be reviewed every two weeks.

The plans come after Boris Johnson announced his Covid winter plan in the House of Commons on November 23, warning that tiers will be tougher and more areas will be placed in higher tiers than before.

The city’s placement in tier 3 was widely seen as ‘inevitable’ as despite the tight rules in place during the national lockdown, the city has seen infection rate continue to soar, at 360 cases per 100,000 people.

In comparison, the national average is 217.6 cases per 100,000 in England.

Tier restrictions across the West Midlands so far announced:

Tier 3:

Birmingham and Black Country
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Tier two

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

Elsewhere in the UK, Manchester and Newcastle have been placed in tier 3, while London and Liverpool are in tier 2.

Tier 3 rules:

Tier Three (Very high): No household mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens; rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces, like parks; pubs/restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway; indoor entertainment venues closed; guidance against travelling in and out of the area; personal care, including hairdressing, allowed.

Richard Butler, CBI regional director of West Midlands, said:“For many businesses in the West Midlands, going into toughened tiers while waiting for a vaccine will feel like suspended animation.

“Some parts of the economy, such as retail, can begin to re-open and look towards a recovery. It gives our high streets a chance to rescue some of the vital festive trading period.

“But for other businesses the ongoing restrictions in tiers 2 and 3 will leave their survival hanging by a thread. Hospitality will remain frozen. And supply chains that cross regions in different tiers will be hit even if they don’t face direct restrictions.

“It’s vital that these firms receive the financial support they need to make it through to the Spring. Clarity about ongoing employment support, including the Job Retention Bonus, will help protect as many jobs as possible. Businesses need to know what support will be there through to March and beyond in advance, rather than taking it down to the wire.

“Lessons must be learned from previous local lockdowns. Boundary lines between different tiers need to work on the ground. Trigger points for exiting the higher tiers must be transparent.

“Those decisions will need to be clearly communicated each fortnight and taken collaboratively between local, regional and national leaders. Most importantly, evidence must be open and transparent – the cost to jobs is only justifiable if it has a material impact on health.

“Liverpool’s shift to tier 2 is clear evidence that mass testing can make a real difference on the ground.

“So there is encouraging news on mass rapid testing and vaccines, and it’s vital to protect jobs and businesses with an end in sight.”