London’s high covid rates could force Staffordshire into tighter restrictions, reports suggest.
It is today being reported the Government is ruling out any return to a tiered approach to covid rules.
That means any new regulations would apply to the whole country – including areas where infections and hospitalisations are relatively low.
The Times reports that a Government source said a return to a system of covid rules based on each county’s number of infections and hospitalisations was “not on the table”.
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They are quotes as saying: “There are big downsides to doing anything regionally and we saw the difficulties they posed when we did it last time.
“It is difficult for people to understand because of different sets of rules.”
It claims another said that a return to the regional tier system is “not on the table”.
Nearly a third of the 9,546 people in UK hospitals with covid are in London, with only parts of Manchester and Greater Manchester showing comparable infection rates.
Non-urgent care is having to be cancelled at some hospitals in the capital as they struggle to cope with rising admissions and covid-related staff absences.
Before Christmas, hundreds of members of staff at Derby and Burton hospitals were off work after testing positive for the virus, but it is not known how many covid patients the facilities are treating.
In Staffordshire, as in most areas, the infection rate is growing at an alarming rate and, for the seven days to December 23, stands at 912.4 per 100,000 residents. The majority of London boroughs have rates above 2,000.
Before Christmas, hundreds of members of staff at Derby and Burton hospitals were off work after testing positive.
Officials decided not to bring in new restrictions ahead of New Year’s Eve, but new rules could be introduced early in January as the more-transmissible omicron variant sweeps the nation.
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