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Prime minister is set to announce new system of Covid-19 alert areas

PUBLISHED: 20:06 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:12 12 October 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street announcing the latest coronavirus restrictions. Picture: PA Images

Prime minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street announcing the latest coronavirus restrictions. Picture: PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

The prime minister is to announce that different parts of England will be split up into “medium”, “high”, or “very high” local coronavirus alert areas under a new three tier system.

The classification of areas will determine what type of “appropriate interventions” are to be made in them to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The news comes as data released on Sunday, October 11 by Public Health England revealed Norwich has now overtaken Great Yarmouth as the area with the most number of new coronavirus cases in the county, with 75.4 cases per 100,000 in the seven days up to October 7.

The statistics mean Norwich now has more coronavirus cases per 100,000 than Yarmouth which had 72.5 cases per 100,000 in the week up to October 7.

But the number of cases per 100,000 people in both Norwich and Yarmouth are still well below the three current highest places in the country, Nottingham, which has 831.8 cases per 100,000 over the past week, Knowsley (652.2 per 100,000) and Liverpool (605.9 per 100,000) and the national average which is at 145 cases per 100,000.

Nursing staff assist NHS staff and keyworkers to use the swabs at the drive through coronavirus testing facility at the Norwich Research Park. Picture: Denise BradleyNursing staff assist NHS staff and keyworkers to use the swabs at the drive through coronavirus testing facility at the Norwich Research Park. Picture: Denise Bradley

Boris Johnson held a telephone conference with cabinet colleagues on Sunday to discuss the situation.

Downing Street said the government is working with local leaders to determine the areas to be covered by the very high alert level, and the measures needed in those places.

Mr Johnson will chair a top level COBR committee meeting Monday on the issue “to determine the final interventions” he will then announce to Parliament.

MPs will be asked to debate and vote on the measures later this week.

Council and police in Norfolk and Waveney have been given extra cash to ensure coronavirus restrictions are complied with.  Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA WireCouncil and police in Norfolk and Waveney have been given extra cash to ensure coronavirus restrictions are complied with. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Mr Johnson will also hold a press conference in Downing Street with chancellor Rishi Sunak and the chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “Our primary focus has always been to protect lives and livelihoods while controlling the spread of the virus and these measures will help achieve that aim.

“We must do everything we can to protect the NHS and make sure it can continue to deliver the essential services that so many people rely on.

“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus.”


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