The government will announce later today which tier of restrictions Herefordshire will be placed under from Saturday 19th December. Herefordshire is currently under Tier 2 (High) restrictions.

The previous announcement was made on the 26th November when Herefordshire had an infection rate of 75.2 cases per 100,000 population. At the time, there were also concerns over a spike in cases in the South Wye area of Hereford and therefore the decision was taken that it would be too risky to place Herefordshire under Tier 1 restrictions.

Since then, Herefordshire’s COVID-19 infection rate has continued to steadily fall, with data up until the 10th December showing an infection rate in Herefordshire of 45.6 cases per 100,000 population. Only a handful of areas in England have a lower infection rate than Herefordshire, one being Cornwall that is currently under Tier 1 restrictions.

The issue that Herefordshire has and the reason that the county is probably likely to remain under Tier 2 restrictions, is that Hereford County Hospital finds itself under pressure at the moment, with ICU busy and overall numbers at the hospital reported to be above those that they would expect during a normal year.

Wye Valley NHS Trust’s Chief Executive posted on Twitter last week saying:

So to summarise, COVID-19 infection rates would indicate a move to Tier 1, however hospital admissions and the overall pressure on the NHS locally plus rising levels in surrounding counties may see Herefordshire remain in Tier 2.