THE government has released a short rationale for why it has placed all of Dorset in Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from the end of the national lockdown next week.

Both BCP and Dorset Council areas will be subject to the Tier 2 High Alert level measures, which include no mixing of household indoors apart from support bubbles.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that the restriction category for local authorities will be reviewed on December 16 and then on a weekly basis going forward.

A summary for the decision to place Dorset in Tier 2, which was posted online by the government, said: "Case rates are falling across the area (131 per 100,000 in all cases and 99 per 100,000 in the over 60s). However the over 60 case rate is still high at 151 per 100,000 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

"Positivity is 5.2 per cent. In addition, the Dorset STP reports daily admissions to hospitals are increasing."

Earlier this week, five key indicators were detailed that would help forumalte the government's tier decisions.

These factors included case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over 60s and the rate at which cases are rising or falling.

The two other measures are the positivity rate – the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken – and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

Downing Street had declined to give any further details on the indicators, nor any estimate of the thresholds.

The Government has said it will need to maintain flexibility to weigh the indicators against each other – such as whether hospital capacity in neighbouring areas is lower.

Another example given in the Coronavirus Winter Plan is that case detection rates would need to be weighed against whether the spread of the virus is localised to particular communities.

“Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators, as doing so would result in poorer quality decisions,” the plan states.

Economic factors are not listed among the key criteria but Downing Street said the Government was always aware of the effect of restrictions on the economy.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, when asked if economic factors would be considered, said on Tuesday: “Ministers have always been cognisant of the economic impact.”