Much of England is set to be placed under tougher COVID-19 restrictions, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock set to make a statement in the commons later today.

Rising COVID-19 cases and increased pressure on hospitals, with some at full capacity, has led Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet to make the decision to place the vast majority of England under Tier 4 restrictions and according to reports, these restrictions may come into force as soon as midnight, to reduce the possibility of people meeting up with others on New Year’s Eve.

In data up until 25th December, Herefordshire had a COVID-19 infection rate of 182 cases per 100,000 population, up on the 94.4 cases per 100,000 population that was recorded on the 17th December. Despite this, the COVID-19 infection rate in Herefordshire still remains far below that seen in many areas of England and Wales.

However, despite the infection rate in Herefordshire being much lower than in other parts of England and Wales, pressure on the NHS at a local level in rising, with a record number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Wye Valley NHS Trust. Data up until 23rd December states that 52 patients were receiving treatment at hospital for COVID-19, the highest number of the pandemic so far.

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