Five key factors which will decide if Bedford faces stricter Covid restrictions in Tier Three

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The town, along with Bedfordshire, is currently in Tier Two - but Wednesday's morning could see us pushed into a 'very high risk' level

These are the five key factors which will decide if Bedford - and the rest of the county - go into the highest tier of Covid-19 restrictions from next week.

Tier Three restrictions would mean no mixing of households, pubs and restaurants could only operate as takeaways and fans banned once again from sporting events.

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Experts from the Joint Biosecurity Centre, Public Health England and the NHS monitors the number of new infections, positivity rates, and pressures on health services.

Will Bedford go into Tier Three?Will Bedford go into Tier Three?
Will Bedford go into Tier Three?

They are due meet and review the Covid Winter Plan by tomorrow (Wednesday, December 16).

Their verdict will be passed on to Government ministers for the final decisions on which - if any - areas will have risk levels raised or lowered.

Final decisions on tiers are made by the Prime Minister at the Covid Operations Committee and are expected to be announced by Thursday with new rules coming into force at the weekend.

Here are the five factors being considered:

> Case detection rates in all age groups

> Case detection rates in the over-60s age group

> The rate at which cases are rising or falling

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> Positivity rate — the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken

> Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

Numbers of positive tests across Bedfordshire is already really high, especially in Luton, which already has over 3,200 more cases than Bedford.

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