Liverpool is expected to escape tier 3 as the government's criteria for local authorities is released.

Our city region is expected to be placed into tier 2 next week when the country leaves the latest lockdown, according to reports.

A government source told The Telegraph that "at least one" area in the strictest tier would drop down a tier under the new regime - and Liverpool's rapidly falling infection rate would make it a prime candidate.

The government will use five measures to decide what tier local authorities should be put into today.

As announced earlier this week, the tiers have been toughened and many more areas will be placed into the higher tiers in order to safeguard the gains made during the period of national restrictions.

The first review point for the current tier allocations will take place by Wednesday 16 December.

This allows for the possibility of areas which continue to make progress in slowing the spread of the disease to be moved down a tier in advance of Christmas.

Tiering decisions to be made through national command structure

These are the five things ministers will be looking at to decide on tiers for each local authority

If these indicators are not improving, an area may be moved up a tier and if the trajectory improves, the area may move to a lower tier.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice made by people up and down the country, we are able to move out of national lockdown and into more targeted local, tiered restrictions.

"I know for those of you faced with tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding.

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“By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures.

”The Contain Outbreak Management Fund will be extended so that it can provide monthly payments to Local Authorities facing higher restrictions until the end of the financial year, in recognition of the ongoing public health and outbreak management costs of tackling COVID-19.

"For those authorities in Tier 3, this funding will amount to £4 per head of population per month, and for those in Tier 2, it will amount to £2 per head of population per month.

"The Joint Biosecurity Centre works closely with PHE, the NHS and across government to monitor the number of new infections, positivity rates, and pressures on the NHS.

"These factors form their public health advice to the Chief Medical Officer and Ministers through the Local Action Committee and the COVID Operations Committee.

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"Final decisions on tiering are made by the Prime Minister at the COVID Operations Committee.

"The government will also publish an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach."

Local authorities that fall into tier 3 will be offered support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme.

Community testing will make use of rapid Lateral Flow Tests which give results within an hour, and will focus on locating and suppressing asymptomatic transmission.

The more cases identified and self-isolating, the quicker the control of virus transmission which is essential to help areas move down a tier."

Rapid community testing will expand on existing testing programmes within the NHS, care homes, universities and schools to protect those most at risk, and builds on the pilots of community testing which are taking place in Liverpool and Merthyr Tydfil.