Three tier lockdown to be announced today
By Sarah Wood | 12th October 2020
The prime minister is to announce a three-tier lockdown system in the House of Commons today (Mon 12th October), with a news briefing at 6pm.
The new system will include 'very high', 'high' and 'medium' alert levels across England.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has just given a briefing about preparing the NHS for the next phases of the pandemic.
He said, that following a summer with low numbers of positive coronavirus tests, there has been a marked pick-up in cases since the start of September.
To reinforce the point that there is a delay between positive tests, hospital admissions and deaths, he said: "I want to be very clear with you that, as patients become ill with Covid-19, they don't immediately go into hospital. And they don't die in hospital the moment they arrive."
The current hospital admissions are based on positive tests from about three weeks ago, a time when there were fewer cases of Covid-19.
The latest data shows that, while there are much higher cases in the north of England, the rate of infection is starting to escalate further south, including parts of the South East. Profession Van-Tam said this data had changed noticeably within a few days.
He made the point that, while the biggest rise in case has been in adults aged 20-29, that it is also being spread to older adults, including those in the higher risk 60+ category.
Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee this morning, before updating parliament on the new rules this afternoon.
The prime minister will then lead the 6pm news briefing, alongside chancellor Rishi Sunak and chief medical officer Chris Whitty.
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