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1 Jul, 2020 15:36

Fears dozens of local lockdowns are ‘days away’ prompts dismay among Britons, as UK battles to contain coronavirus flare-ups

Fears dozens of local lockdowns are ‘days away’ prompts dismay among Britons, as UK battles to contain coronavirus flare-ups

As many as 36 regions in England which are seeing a rise in newly confirmed cases of coronavirus could be “just days” away from being forced into local lockdowns, according to reports, leading many Britons to voice their alarm.

Sources in Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Health have reportedly told Sky News they are “working collaboratively,” with local authorities in England where spikes in cases of the deadly disease are cropping up.

As a result, local lockdowns – like the one in Leicester which will see some restrictions re-imposed, such as the closure of non-essential shops and travel limits from July 4 – may soon apply to 35 more regions in “just days,” including some London boroughs.

Also on rt.com New ‘legal change’ required to enforce Leicester lockdown, amid unusually high number of child cases, says Health Sec. Hancock

The prospect of dozens of local areas in England having to abide by separate stricter lockdown rules compared to the rest of the country has infuriated many people on social media. Some point the blame at England’s top health officials for not speaking out against PM Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

One person hit out at England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, for their “silent acquiescence to Johnson’s desire to get us on the beaches and down the pub and ‘show some guts.’”

Another commenter accused Johnson of “dithering” and suggested that he had brought in the national lockdown too late and relaxed it too early.

Others appeared unhopeful the country could hold out from having to reimpose tougher lockdown measures for the whole of England, with one worried individual tweeting: “This is how it starts. 36 will soon become the entire country again.”

A PHE regional map for testing across England shows Leicester, Barnsley, Bradford and Rochdale are suffering with the highest numbers of cases, with at least 45 cases per 100,000 people in the week to June 21.

The threat of fresh lockdowns comes as the UK Department of Health and Social Care published figures on Wednesday showing that as of 5pm on June 30, 43,906 people have died from coronavirus. A further 176 fatalities have been recorded in the last 24-hour period – a slight increase in numbers from this time last week.

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