Tier system

Were tiers working before lockdown?

Beware data that is released on the eve of a Commons vote on lockdown restrictions. That was the lesson of the graph presented by Sir Patrick Vallance at the Downing Street press briefing on 31 October, which included a scenario of 4,000 deaths a day by December unless drastic action was taken. The figure quickly fell apart when it was revealed that the data was several weeks out of date and the curve shown on the graph was already running well ahead of reality. What, then, to make of the React study published this morning, reported on the BBC news and elsewhere this morning, claiming that Covid cases have ‘fallen by about a third over lockdown’?

Tory MPs see red over the new tiers

Boris Johnson began the week with an optimistic message of an end to the English lockdown and hopes of a vaccine breakthrough to rid us of coronavirus restrictions altogether. However, until then his revised three-tier system is becoming a major cause of frustration for Tory MPs. The three tiers have been bulked up from their pre-lockdown incarnation. While gyms and hairdressers now can remain open under any tier, socialising is stricter than before. The level of disquiet means No. 10 will likely have to offer more to backbenchers However, the point of contention among Tory MPs is which areas are under which tier. The hope among many in the parliamentary party was

Should London be split into different tiers?

What will the new map of tiers look like when England exits lockdown next week? It certainly won’t be the same system we left behind when we went into lockdown on 5 November. For one thing, we have been told that restrictions are tightening and that more areas will be shunted into Tier 3. The epicentres of new infections at the moment are not as much in the cities as relatively low-income suburban and semi-rural areas in Lincolnshire and North Kent. Swale (528 new infections per 100,000), East Lindsey (467) and Boston (433) currently top the infection charts. Liverpool by contrast — the first place to go into Tier 3 —