What does Norfolk need to do to get to Tier 1?
- Credit: ELLA WILKINSON
Rising cases amongst the over 60s in Norwich and South Norfolk meant the county missed out on the lowest form of new coronavirus restrictions.
On Thursday the government announced that only three areas of England will be placed in Tier 1 – the level with the lightest restrictions – when lockdown ends on December 2. They are Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.
The government says it will review the restrictions every two weeks, so to get to Tier 1 before Christmas, Norfolk and Suffolk need to see a sustained drop in cases.
They also need to stable or declining rates in groups over the age of 60.
Infection rates and case numbers
Cornwall's infection rate is much lower than in Norfolk or Suffolk.
The rate of infections for the week ending November 20 was 62.4 per 100,000, almost half that of Norfolk’s rate of 112.6 in the same period, and lower than Suffolk’s 70.5.
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While the number of infections has been dropping in the week ending November 20, it wasn’t enough to change either county’s tier. Cases fell by 24.7pc in Norfolk and by 5.1pc in Suffolk during that period.
Cornwall’s 27.6pc fall in cases wasn’t too far away from Norfolk’s, but the region only recorded 357 cases compared to Norfolk’s 1,022 and Suffolk’s 648.
The over 60s
Local case rates among the over 60s, also played a big part in the decision on tiers.
In Norfolk rates of more than 100 infections per 100,000 were found in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and South Norfolk. More importantly, the data shows these rates were increasing in Norwich and South Norfolk.
Meanwhile in Suffolk, despite a low infection rate overall, Ipswich’s rate shot up by more than 40pc to 128 infections per 100,000. This looks to have been a key factor given the county’s falling case rates overall in those over 60.