Calls for lockdown to lift EARLIER in London and schools to reopen as cases drop lower than North and Midlands
LONDON'S cases have dropped lower than the North and Midlands sparking calls to lift lockdown earlier in the capital and open schools.
Official figures released today show cases dropping faster in the capital and London MPs want Boris Johnson to ease lockdown and return to the Tier system.
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London's seven-day rate was 218.2 new infections per 100,000 in the week to February 4.
This means the capital has fallen below the North East at 218.4, the North West at 249.1, West Midlands at 271.9 and the East Midlands at 249.1.
The Covid-19 rate is also falling faster in London compared to other regions.
It is down 34.8 per cent compared to the previous week, while rates are down 11.2 per cent in the North East, 19.9 per cent in the North West, 20.7 per cent in the West Midlands and 14.8 per cent in the East Midlands.
There is less testing in the capital compared to other regions, which could affect the figures, but London still has the highest test positivity rate.
London MPs are calling for the PM to bring the country back into a Tier system instead of waiting for all other regions to have low enough cases to lift restrictions nationally.
Bromley and Chislehurst MP Sir Bob Neill said: "Once we are able to start moving out of lockdown, we should be prepared to look at it on a regional basis.
"It would not be right for London to be held back because people have made the sacrifices necessary to get the rates down in our areas."
Harrow East Tory MP Bob Blackman added: "A tiered approach is better than waiting for the worst affected region."
Lib Dem MP Munira Wilson said: "If scientists suggest it’s safe for children to return to school in London before it’s safe for children to return in other parts of the country, then Government should follow that advice."
Case rates across regions
Seven-day case rate per 100,000 in the week of February 4
- London: 218.2
- Notrh East: 218.4
- North West: 249.1
- West Midlands: 271.9
- East Midlands: 249.1
- South East: 176.5
- East: 205.5
- South West: 139.8
- Yorkshire & Humber: 181.9
Andy Burnham, the Manchester Mayor, said the calls from London MPs "sounds like 2020 all over again".
He tweeted: "Interesting view from London. So when cases took off down there before Christmas, we all had to go into national lockdown.
"But now things have eased a bit, they’re quite happy to lift it early and leave us trapped in the highest tiers? Sounds like 2020 all over again."
Last October, Mr Burnham refused to allow Manchester to go into the harsh Tier 3 restrictions without a proper financial package after London initially squeaked by and stayed in Tier 2.
At the time, Mr Burnham rejected Tier 3 plans which included the closure of pubs saying they were being used as "canaries in the coal mine" and that jobs in the North were being "sacrificed to save them elsewhere".
Mr Burnham has been openly critical of how northern areas have been supported during the pandemic compared to the capital.
MPs had previously pleaded with the government to not place the capital in the then-highest Tier 3, despite having some of the highest infection rates claiming it could cause a £3billion catastrophic hit to the economy.
Cases soared at the beginning of December in London, prompting the government to introduce a new "Tier 4" for the capital and other areas before slamming the country back into a full lockdown at the beginning of January.
Two days before Tier 4 was announced, figures showed how only two northern areas were in the UK's top 50 coronavirus hotspots.
But now London's cases are dropping faster, perhaps because of the Tier 4 restrictions came in a few weeks before January's full national lockdown.
During the first wave, cases were highest in London before trailing off and then soaring in the North.
The capital was the country's Covid epicentre during the first lockdown until May, when the North West overtook London in hospital cases.
Yesterday, it was announced that Covid deaths in the UK have risen by 1,052 as Matt Hancock revealed daily cases dropped by 47 per fecnt in a fortnight.
A further 12,364 new infections have been reported – bringing the total number to 3,972,148.
Yesterday's daily death toll means the total number of Covid victims now stands at 113,850.
The daily toll is 27% lower than last week when 1,449 deaths were recorded.
The number of cases has also fallen by 26% after last week saw 16,840 new infections recorded.
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