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Local lockdown UK list: 36 hotspot areas at risk of virus shutdown within DAYS after official data shows rise in cases

PANICKED council leaders are warning people to stay home amid fears more lockdowns are only days away.

It comes after a leaked government league table revealed the towns and cities with the highest rates of Covid infections.

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Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's inevitable we will (have further local outbreaks)
Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's inevitable we will (have further local outbreaks)

Officials are said to be particularly concerned about 36 “hotspots” nationwide.

Leicester tops the “watchlist” with 135.7 lab-confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the week ending June 28.

The city is followed by Bradford (42.8), Barnsley (34.7), Rochdale (31.4) and Oldham (28.4).

A Government source said: “We’re monitoring the situation hour by hour and won’t hesitate to lockdown other places if necessary.

“People must be sensible and observe social distancing rules or their home town or city could be next.”

Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Labour-run Bradford City Council, said people should stay at home as much as possible.

She added: "We know that figures from Public Health England show Bradford with a high number of infections along with a number of other northern authorities, although we are some way behind Leicester.

“The number of people testing positive for the virus is still too high and we continue to work hard with all our partners to prevent infection spreading as no-one wants a second lockdown.”

She said it was wrong to believe the easing of restrictions means Covid-19 now poses less of a threat to people’s health.

The leaked league table shows the infection rate in Leicester was actually improving at the time it was placed back into lockdown.

Figures for the week ending June 21 show a rate of 140.2 lab-confirmed cases per 100,000 people but this had fallen to 135.7 by June 28.

Over 70 per cent of cases are now detected through testing outside of hospitals
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Over 70 per cent of cases are now detected through testing outside of hospitalsCredit: Reuters

The crucial coronavirus R rate is below 1 in England but could be creeping above the threshold in the Midlands.

Experts at the University of Cambridge estimated that the majority of English regions fall below 1.

Barnsley, Bradford, Rochdale, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Kirklees, Oldham, Rotherham, Tameside and Peterborough are all showing worrying signs of infections rising.

All ten of the Midlands and Northern towns and districts now have more than 38 cases per 100,000 people.

Over 70 per cent of cases are now detected through testing outside of hospitals.

At a local authority level, coronavirus is now highest in parts of West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and in Leicester.

Imperial College London's Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's inevitable we will (have further local outbreaks), we are relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up and that's a very variable process."

Asked about Bradford and Doncaster, he said: "Those are areas, where not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 of the population, which is the relevant measure, so they're clearly of concern." 

Cumulative rate of coronavirus cases per 100,000 of a population
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Cumulative rate of coronavirus cases per 100,000 of a population
Weekly rate of coronavirus cases per 100,000 of a population
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Weekly rate of coronavirus cases per 100,000 of a population

Which towns and cities could face local lockdown?

  • Barnsley
  • Bradford
  • Rochdale
  • Bedford
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Kirklees
  • Oldham
  • Rotherham
  • Tameside
  • Peterborough

It comes as the UK has been seeing a general trend of falling cases, after months of lockdown restrictions.

Most areas of the country had been reporting a steady decline in infections, but since mid-June, these 10 spots have seen a rise.

A number of northern towns and their infection rates are worrying experts, with The Times reporting health officials warning Leicester is a "tinderbox" for a rise in cases.

Rates of infection in the city are now three times that of the town with the next highest rate.

And as cases fail to drop in line with the rest of the country, 10 per cent of tests are currently coming back positive - five times the national rate.

Non-essential shops in the city shut yesterday in a local lockdown, and schools will close for most pupils from Thursday - taking it back to the more severe restrictions of May.

The Department of Health said as of 5pm on Monday, 43,730 people had died from coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 155 on the previous day.

Doncaster has seen cases rise in recent weeks and could face a local lockdown
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Doncaster has seen cases rise in recent weeks and could face a local lockdownCredit: Refer to Source - Alamy

 

Laws will be changed to enforce Leicester lockdown and cops will crack down, warns Matt Hancock