THIS new map reveals the next 10 places that could be put into Tier 3 coronavirus lockdown.
Hartlepool in County Durham tops this week’s list compiled using the latest data from the Covid Symptom Tracker App.
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It was fifth last week but has moved up after previous hotspots Burnley, Manchester, Salford, Pendle, Bury and Sheffield, went into the highest tier of restrictions.
Other areas that made the watch list this week include Warrington in Cheshire, as well as Nottingham and Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire.
In the North East of England, Sunderland, Stockton-on-Tees, Gateshead, Darlington and County Durham also made this week’s top 10 places.
Meanwhile, Bradford in West Yorkshire has also crept onto the list and is now sitting at number five.
Last week, Newcastle upon Tyne was third on the list but it’s dropped off entirely – along with Leeds, which both remain in Tier 2.
Researchers behind the app say they are now using their data, which relies on people self-reporting, to predict which region could be next to be put under Tier 3 restrictions.
Using predicted symptomatic cases means that predictions can be made up to ten days before confirmed tested cases are made public, the team from King’s College London say.
To predict which areas could go into the highest rank of restrictions next, the experts are using a new “Tier Prediction model”.
It takes the Tier 2 regions as defined by the Government (100,000 cases per million), uses the average estimated cases over the last seven days and ranks the regions in descending order.
The area with the largest weekly average prevalence is ranked the highest.
TIER 3 RULES
Last week, the experts put Greater Manchester in prime position to move into Tier 3 – something Mayor Andy Burnham had refused to do.
The region only joined Liverpool and Lancashire in the highest restriction level at midnight after Boris Johnson warned “not to act now” would put the lives of Manchester’s residents “at risk”.
Under Tier 3, pubs and bars not serving substantial meals have to close, while household mixing is banned indoors and outdoors in hospitality settings and private gardens.
Betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas also have to close, plus there is guidance against travelling in or out of the area.
This week, the app data also revealed that there are currently 36,251 daily new symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 18 October, excluding care homes.
This compares to 27,762 daily new symptomatic cases a week ago.
The figure is based on the number of newly symptomatic app users per day, and the proportion of these who give positive swab tests.
The latest survey figures were based on the data from 13,361 recent swab tests done between October 4 to October 18.
Experts say their data shows a clear North/South divide this week with 7,831 new cases per day in the North West, compared with 1,743 in the South West.
Cases in the North East and Yorkshire have risen sharply with 7,058 new cases per day.
The East of England now has the lowest level of daily new cases in the UK, followed by the South West and the South East.
When it comes to the different age groups, the data shows that the number of new symptomatic cases in those under 60 has been increasing sharply.
However, the data shows a different story in the over 60s – with new symptomatic cases having a slower linear increase since mid September.
The increase in the over 60’s appears slightly faster in the North-West compared to other areas.
Prof Tim Spector, the genetic epidemiologist behind the study, said: “As we progress through this second wave of Covid-19, we are still seeing cases across the UK rise with an R value of 1.2, and the gap between the Northern regions of the UK and the South growing.
The number of cases is still being driven by the younger generations, which should mean less pressure on NHS admissions
Prof Tim SpectorKing's College London
“Our data clearly shows that the number of cases is still being driven by the younger generations, which should mean less pressure on NHS admissions compared to earlier in the year.
“However, this week we launched the findings of our long-Covid research, which found that everyone is susceptible to this debilitating condition so it’s incredibly important we get control of this second wave to prevent thousands more suffering for months on end.”
Coventry, Stoke and Slough will enter Tier 2 on Saturday, while talks between Westminster and civic leaders in Nottingham over possible Tier 3 restrictions are continuing today.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak announced an emergency multi-billion pound bailout aimed at supporting workers and firms through the second wave.
The Job Support Scheme, which replaces the current furlough system from November 1, will be made more generous in an effort to persuade firms to keep staff in work.
There will also be grants of up to £2,100 a month available for firms in Tier 2 areas of England, aimed at helping hospitality and leisure venues which have seen takings plummet due to restrictions on households mixing.