Local Lockdowns Will Be Used To Tackle Spikes In Coronavirus Cases
27 May 2020, 11:28
Towns and communities could be put on lockdown again if local areas see a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said “local lockdowns” will be introduced to suppress sudden increases in coronavirus cases in particular areas.
A system is being put in place as part of the new track and trace system as lockdown measures begin to be gradually eased.
Mr Hancock did not specify a timeframe, but restrictions in local areas will be placed in areas with “flare-ups” so the whole of society will not be impacted at once by the strict measures.
As a result, schools – which are beginning to bring back some years in June – could be closed, as well as businesses and workplaces in areas which see a sharp rise in infection rates.
During No 10’s daily briefing he said: “We will have local lockdowns in future where there are flare-ups and we have a system we are putting in place with a combination of Public Health England and the new joint biosecurity centre, along with the local directors of public health who play an absolutely crucial role in the decision-making in the system, to make sure if there is a local flare-up there is a local lockdown.
"And so local lockdowns will be part of the future system that we put in place as part of the NHS test-and-trace system.”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said to BBC Breakfast if the system worked it would be used on “quite a micro level” in the hope the community would support the measures in place.
The government are aiming to have lockdown measures lifted at the same time across the country, but restrictions may have to be re-introduced if necessary.
During Tuesday’s briefing Professor John Newton agreed a number of different organisations in regional areas would be involved in the response to local outbreaks.
He explained: “It is a whole-country effort. It has a national component, but it has a very important local component as well, which needs to reflect... the special characteristics of different parts of the country.”
The gradual fall in coronavirus cases continues to vary in different parts of the country as the nation approaches a gradual lift of the current restrictions.