Health Secretary Matt Hancock has given his verdict on how Nottinghamshire is dealing with coronavirus.
MP Lilian Greenwood asked Hancock about Nottingham’s falling infection rate figures after the national lockdown during his coronavirus rules update to the House of Commons today, Monday, December 14.
The Nottingham South MP referred to a Nottinghamshire Live article highlighting 72 tier 2 areas where the infection rate is now higher than that seen in the city.
She asked for clearer guidance from the government on what Nottinghamshire needs to do in order to drop down a tier.
The MP asked the Health Secretary: “The Nottingham Post website is reporting today that 72 areas in tier 2 now have a higher Covid rate than tier 3 in Nottingham.
“Since we came out of the national lockdown and went into tier 3 our situation has improved on all five indicators used but we still don’t know if the improvement is enough for us to move down a tier later this week.
“Will he [Hancock] spell out the thresh holds that will be used and will he commit to publishing the rationale for his decision making?”
Hancock replied: “We have set out the statistics we look at and we publish those statistics.
“I think Nottinghamshire has done, including Nottingham, a very good job in getting their cases down.”
Despite the Health Secretary’s praise of how the county has fared recently, a public health boss has today explained why it is unlikely for Nottinghamshire to move down to tier 2 after the next government review on Wednesday.
Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It’s a government decision. They’ve made clear the kind of criteria they’ll be using to make that decision later on this week.
“It does include infection rates and the rates amongst the over 60s, they’ll take into account rates of positivity which varies considerably across the county and NHS pressures which remain more severe than they were at the peak of wave one.
“Along with the relaxation of measures over Christmas period, in January we anticipate the phased return of students to the city.
“I think there are a number of headwinds which would, in my opinion, make it quite challenging for the government in terms of the consideration it is giving to Tier 2.”
The Health Secretary confirmed other areas will be moving into tier 3, including London, parts of Essex and Herefordshire.