THIS map reveals the Covid hotspots on the brink of tougher tier restrictions.
The tier system was due for a review on Wednesday but Health Secretary Matt Hancock was yesterday forced to push London and it's neighbouring counties into Tier 3.
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Ministers will still review the tiers tomorrow, with any changes expected to come into force by the weekend, putting a dampner on Christmas cheer.
The ZOE Covid Symptom Study App, run by researchers at King's College London has given a glimpse into what to expect.
Its data shows where cases have been increasing in the population as a whole, and in the over 60s, to work out the places at risk of moving tier level.
In the past seven days cases have increased in several areas, putting them at risk of going into Tier 3.
ON THE UP
Oxfordshire, East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and Northamptonshire and all seen an uptick in infections.
Oxfordshire is currently in Tier 2 and data from the app shows that the area has 188 cases per 100,000 and 50 cases per 100,000 people in the over 60s.
Walk-through Covid test sites opened in the area today in a bid to get more people tested – allowing more people to isolate who have contracted the virus.
The app has also predicted that East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove could be moved into Tier 3.
The data suggests that the area has 232 cases per 100,000 people and 63 cases per 100,000 in those over the age of 60.
Earlier this week it was revealed that some schools in Brighton were forced to close due to outbreaks of the virus.
Northamptonshire has also seen a rise in cases.
The area has 344 cases per 100,000 with 61 cases per 100,000 in the over 60s.
Moving into the "very high alert" level would force the hospitality sector to shut down, other than for takeaway service. It would also mean people can't meet friends and family outside or inside.
Data from King's College London is separate from data published by Public Health England (PHE) revealed that more than two thirds of local areas across England are seeing a rise in Covid-19 case rates.
Data from PHE states that seven days ago, 126 out of a total of 315 local authority areas had recorded a week-on-week jump in rates. That figure now stands at 222.
TIER WE GO
London will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 at 12.01am on December 16 after cases continued to rise in the capital.
Like London, the whole of eastern England had been in Tier 2 restrictions.
But from 12.01am on Wednesday December 16, 11 local authority areas in Essex and four in Hertfordshire will be moving into Tier 3.
All of these areas have seen a week-on-week rise in rates, along with every other local area in the region – with three exceptions: North Norfolk, South Norfolk and Stevenage.
Data from King's College London shows that there have been 23,115 daily new cases of Covid in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 11 December 2020.
This results are based on the number of newly symptomatic app users per day, and the proportion of these who give positive swab tests.
The government has stressed that areas will be moved into high tiers if they are unable to get cases under control.
Data from PHE states that Swale in Kent continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,083 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 11 – the equivalent of 721.6 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 608.3 in the seven days to December 4.
Medway, also in Kent, has the second highest rate, up from 594.9 to 699.0, with 1,947 new cases.
Basildon in Essex is in third place, where the rate has risen sharply from 409.2 to 696.1, with 1,303 new cases.
The government is expected to release a further update tomorrow on any tier changes.
People will be able to travel out of their current tiers during the Christmas period.
The planned five-day "Christmas window" would allow three households to mingle between December 23-27.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We have set out the guidance for the Christmas bubbling arrangements.
"But… we obviously keep all advice under constant review."
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