England’s regional Covid tier system may need to be “strengthened” to get the country “through the winter”, a senior government adviser has said.
Public Health England’s Dr Susan Hopkins said they needed to look at what “tiers there may be in the future” when the lockdown ends on 2 December.
A three-tier system was used in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus before the national lockdown began.
Matt Hancock said the government hoped to bring back the regional tiers.
It comes as the UK announced another 21,363 daily Covid cases, as well as a further 213 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
Speaking at the government’s evening coronavirus briefing, Dr Hopkins, who is also a member of the government’s scientific advisory group (Sage), said the “key” to knowing if the four-week lockdown in England was working was “if cases fall” and they expect to know that “in the next week”.
“As long as we see cases decline we can make judgments… about opening up,” she said.
She added that, prior to the lockdown, the “tiering of the country” had had a “different effect in each area”.
“Tier three plus” had led to a reduction in cases in the North West, she said, while tier two “holds in some areas and not in others”, depending on “how well individuals are talking the advice in”.
However, she added: “We see very little effect from tier one and when we look at what tiers may be there in the future, we will have to think about strengthening them to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone.”