Will Matt Hancock raise Devon to Tier 3 later today?

From the Western Morning News:

Tougher restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus are expected to be announced today as rising cases put an increasing strain on hospitals.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will address the recalled House of Commons after MPs have passed key legislation on the post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

With case rates rising in all regions of England, as well as the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, any changes are likely to involve areas moving up a tier rather than down.

Devon’s director of public health designate, Steve Brown, said before Christmas he was surprised the county had not been put into Tier Three at the last review. Cornwall was raised from Tier One to Tier Two from Boxing Day, but Devon stayed where it was. 

Mr Brown said: “Given our rising case numbers and emergence of the new variant, I am surprised that Devon has not yet been lifted into Tier Three.”

Last night, Cornwall Council said it was becoming increasingly concerned at a 44% rise in cases in the last seven days.

Now an expert adviser to the Government has said national coronavirus restrictions are needed to prevent a “catastrophe”, and the head of an organisation representing health trusts said “as much of the country as possible” should go into the harshest Tier Four.

Exeter University’s expert in infectious diseases, Dr Bharat Pankhania, said it would be ‘prudent’ to delay schools reopening after Christmas and to increase the closure period beyond the one additional week announced by Michael Gove.

Owl has been keeping a record of the daily active Covid cases as estimated by the Covid Symptom Tracker App since the end of November. It is interesting to compare the trajectory of estimated cases per head of population (ppm so ten times larger than the usual measure) for East Devon and Cornwall (Cornwall with a larger sample presents less scatter). Looks like they are both on the rise, with Cornwall ahead.

Key dates:

Lockdown 2 ended Dec 2. East Devon moved to Tier 2, Cornwall placed in Tier 1.

Revised Tier system, raising Cornwall to Tier 2, introduced Dec 26