As Leicester goes back into lockdown – the 35 other cities and counties across England at risk of being put back into lockdown next have been revealed.
According to data published on the Government’s Coronavirus website, while restrictions have eased – leading to the reopening of non-essential shops – cases have risen in several areas as restrictions have eased, including in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
What is a local lockdown and how do they work?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month said that regional flare-ups of the virus in England would result in ‘local lockdown’.
He told a Downing Street briefing there would be ‘local lockdowns in the future’ with the Joint Biosecurity Centre having a ‘response function’ that could address local spikes in infections, in partnership with local public health agencies.
Mr Hancock has said that under local lockdowns schools, businesses or workplaces could be closed in areas with a high prevalance of infection.
What powers do councils have already?
Council and public health leaders have said local authorities have the powers needed to tackle outbreaks in schools, businesses or care homes.
But Greg Fell, Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) board member, told a committee of MPs earlier this month that they did not have the power to shut down local areas or whole cities.
Any powers to lock down communities would need to be conferred to local leaders, he told the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
But he warned that if a city needed to be placed into lockdown “we may well be in national lockdown territory by that time”.
In addition to Leciester, the areas with cases on the rise include:
- Barking and Dagenham
- Hammersmith and Fulham
- Isle of Wight
- Kensington and Chelsea
- Milton Keynes
- Redcar and Cleveland
- Richmond upon Thames
- Tower Hamlets
- Windsor and Maidenhead