How do Covid rates now compare to last year as restrictions set to end?

A second case of the Omicron strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in Suffolk.

Coronavirus rates were dramatically lower than they are now one year on - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

This time last year Suffolk was in Tier 4 following lockdown-style restrictions to clamp down on Covid rates.

Now one year on all coronavirus restrictions are set to end - but how do the figures compare 12 months on?

What is the difference in Suffolk's Covid rate?

This time last year Covid cases in all of Suffolk districts were far lower than they are now, with all areas under 100 cases per 100,000 people. 

Suffolk started off in Tier 2 and had hoped for the lowest Tier 1 level, until case numbers rose sharply and it was put into Tier 4 before the national lockdown at the start of 2021. 

The overall infection rate in Suffolk was 69.5 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to February 17 2021 days before Boris Johnson set out his four-step plan, to begin easing lockdown measures from March. 

In comparison, the Covid rates in Suffolk are at 586.3 per 100,000 people in the same period 12 months on. 

Covid rates were the lowest in Mid Suffolk as 48.6 per 100,000 cases in 2021 and contrast to the 715.3 per 100,000 people seen on February 17 this year. 

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The full comparison can be found in the graph below: 

What is the difference in the number of people in the region's hospitals?

Although Covid rates are much higher this year than they were last, the number of people receiving treatment with the virus has dropped in both Suffolk hospitals. 

The number of people in East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust on February 15 this year was 92 which is down from 173 in February 15 last year. 

Numbers also dropped at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as there were 21 people in hospital with coronavirus on February 15 this year and 31 on February 15 last year. 

Why have Covid restrictions been axed?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that coronavirus restrictions would end tomorrow (February 24) earlier this week. 


Boris Johnson has said people will still be encouraged to self isolate if they test positive to stay at home until April 1 - Credit: PA

Mr Johnson said: "It’s only because levels of immunity are so high and deaths are now if anything below where you would normally expect for this time of year that we can lift these restrictions, and it’s only because we know Omicron is less severe that testing for Omicron on the colossal scale we’ve been doing is much less important and much less valuable in preventing serious illness."