COUNTY council bosses are set to make a strong case for Essex to enter into a lower tier after the second lockdown.

But they say the data must back up the plan and they will need to see a clear fall in case and death numbers.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “As this is a lockdown led by the Government, we remain committed to what Government policy is at the time.

“In reviewing their national lockdown restrictions ahead of December 2, the Government will clearly have a keen eye on the infection rate and looking to see if it has fallen sufficiently.”


The spokesman added: “We can all play our part by following the restrictions.

“All of our decisions in terms of the situation in Essex are driven by data.

“As we entered Tier 2 restrictions earlier in Essex in order to limit the increase in the infection rate, we believe that when England exits the lockdown, we will be better placed to recommend to government that Essex is put into the lowest level of restrictions, but the transmission data in the county must match our expectations.

“Again, the way that everyone can help bring down the transmission rate is to abide by the national restrictions, work from home wherever this is possible, observe social distancing at 2 metres and if you have symptoms to self-isolate and get a test.”

It comes as the Covid transmission rate has moved closer to an R number of 1, according to new Government data.

The Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1 and 1.1.

However, the R number for the East of England is between 1 and 1.3.

It is slightly lower than the previous week when it was between 1.1 and 1.4.

The R number represents the average number of people each Covid-positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.

An R number between 1 and 1.1 means that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 11 other people.