UK coronavirus live: England returning to 3-tier system post-lockdown risks infection rise, warns Sage

Post-lockdown rules in England will need to be stricter than before it started, scientists warn; R number now between 1 and 1.2 for UK

2.35pm GMT

This slide shows the number of coronavirus cases falling back in most parts of Wales.

Here’s the slide from today’s press conference

2.08pm GMT

The government has just released a new batch of papers from Sage, its Scientific Advisory Committee for Emergencies, and one document shows that Sage wants restrictions in England after the lockdown ends on 2 December to be stricter than what was in place when it started.

Here is the report (pdf), a consensus statement from SPI-M-O, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which is effectively a Sage sub committee. It is dated 4 November, the day before the lockdown started.

The longer-term outlook depends on both the nature of non-pharmaceutical interventions that are implemented in England after 2 December and policies over the festive period. If England returns to the same application of the tiering system in place before 5 November, then transmission will return to the same rate of increase as today.

Initial analysis shows a clear effect from tier 3 interventions and much less from tiers 1 and 2. It is not yet clear whether tier 3 measures alone are sufficient to reduce the reproduction number below 1.

If well-adhered to, the lockdown measures due to start in England on 5 November are likely to reduce R to less than 1. 24.

If this is sustained until 2 December, the number of hospital admissions and deaths would be expected to fall until at least the second week of December.

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