BRIGHTON and Hove will be under “medium risk” lockdown restrictions when the government’s new three-tier coronavirus alert system is introduced on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the new system in the House of Commons yesterday.

He said: “There are now more people in hospital with Covid than when we went into lockdown on March 23 and deaths are already rising.

The Argus:

“I believe not to act would be unforgivable.”

Regions in England will be rated as level one “medium” risk, level two “high” risk or level three  “very high” risk, depending on their infection rates.

Level one will include regions with fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 of population, level two will include areas where the infection rate is greater than 100 cases per 100,000 of population and level three will be introduced in areas where level two measures have failed to stop the spread of the virus or there has been a recent spike in transmission rates.

The Liverpool City region is the only area known to be set for the highest tier with an infection rate of 600 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 6.

The infection rate in Brighton and Hove was 74 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 8 and the average England infection rate was 79.

Tier three, “very high” risk, will see all mixing of households, indoors or outdoors, banned.

Pubs, bars, gyms, leisure centres and more will also be ordered to close.

Where businesses are forced to close, the Treasury will pay two thirds of staff wages from the start of next month.

The Argus:

“Additional measures can also be put in place with support from the local authorities,” the BBC reported.

In tier two, there will be no mixing of households in indoor spaces, public or private.

The rule of six continues to apply in outdoor spaces such as parks.

Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small part of the Peak District are all expected to have these additional restrictions placed upon them.

The lowest tier, where Brighton and Hove currently sits, will continue to be under existing restrictions.

These include adhering to the rule of six and hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants having to close at 10pm.

Households will, however, still be allowed to mix, with the existing government regulations remaining the same.

These state: “When meeting with people you don’t live with (indoors) you can socialise in groups of up to six. 

“This is a legal limit. 

“If your household (and/or support bubble) is larger than six people, you can gather together.

“You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with.”

However, the number of weekly cases in Brighton and Hove has increased over recent weeks.

In the seven days leading up to  October 7, there were 221 cases confirmed in the city.

This is almost double the 115 cases recorded in the seven days before October 1, which in turn was nearly triple the 39 cases seen in the week before.

As a result, Brighton and Hove City Council announced the city would be placed under an amber Covid alert last Tuesday.

This is part of the council’s new traffic light alert system, with amber being the second highest rating.

The Argus:

“This is the last stage before the government will declare the city an area of national concern,” a council spokesman said.

Speaking last Tuesday after data was released showing 115 weekly cases in Brighton and Hove, the city’s director of public health Alistair Hill said that some, but not all, of the sudden increase could be put down to an increased availability of testing to residents.

New testing centres have been built at Plumpton Racecourse and East Brighton Park in recent weeks.

However, updated figures show weekly cases have now risen to 221.