There could be stricter restrictions in Hertfordshire when lockdown ends on December 2 – and we’ll find out what those restrictions will be on Thursday.

Hertfordshire County Council has confirmed it is expecting to find out on Thursday (November 26) which tier the county will be in when lockdown is lifted.

Hertfordshire only just managed to stay in the most lenient Tier 1 before Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced restrictions for the whole of England earlier this month.

Unlike other parts of the country, like the north and London, people living in Hertfordshire were able to mix indoors with different households in groups of up to six.

But with Covid-19 cases remaining higher in Hertfordshire since lockdown was introduced, a continued ban on household mixing, amongst other restrictions, cannot be ruled out.

Mr Johnson is expected to provide an update on the new “strengthened” three-tier system later this afternoon and may also give further details about whether families will be able to celebrate Christmas together.

Watford Observer:

Credit: PA

And the government will then place local authorities up and down England into the new tier system, with an announcement made on Thursday.

More areas than before are expected to be in a higher tier than before lockdown, the PA news agency has reported.

What is the situation like in Hertfordshire at the moment?

Data published on the government’s coronavirus dashboard shows 1,720 new cases in Hertfordshire in the seven days to November 19, which is down from 2,009 for the previous seven days.

There were 1,381 new cases in the county in the last seven days of October.

There is still hope that the county can avoid tougher restrictions – not only do the latest figures show a small decline in cases in recent days, but director of public health in Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, suggested to the media last week that this week’s numbers are the ones to look out for.

He said that this week’s data, which will take into account the number of people who tested positive over the weekend and early this week, will show how much of an impact lockdown has had on the spread of Covid-19 in Hertfordshire.

Sunday’s daily case update from the government provided some mixed news.

It showed levels of the virus looks to have stabilised in places like Watford, Three Rivers, St Albans, and Stevenage, but cases are higher than where public health officials would like them to be in East Hertfordshire, and Broxbourne, while Dacorum have seen a sharp rise in cases in recent days.

Between November 10 and 17, figures published by the county council show an even number of cases across several age groups.

There were around 200 cases in each of the following age groups during this time period: 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59.

Cases were at their lowest in people aged over 80.

When it looked like Hertfordshire would be heading into Tier 2, Mr McManus dismissed any idea that different boroughs in Hertfordshire could face different restrictions.

It is unclear at this stage whether new tier restrictions would be county-wide or district-wide.