People shop for fruit and vegetables at Walthamstow Street Market in north-east London (Picture: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Whole towns could face tough ‘local lockdowns’ if there are regional ‘flare-ups’ of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister is set to announce more about the new measures and the Government’s ‘track and trace system’, which could be thrown in place from Thursday.
Boris Johnson had pledged to introduce the system by June 1, but it is being rushed forward before primary school classes return on Monday, The Sun reports.
An army of 25,000 contact tracers will reportedly begin work hunting down new cases so coronavirus sufferers can be rapidly isolated.
During the press briefing yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the local lockdown measures, which could lead to schools, businesses and workplaces being closed in areas with high prevalence of infection.
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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.
People enjoy the sunshine in London Fields after the lockdown was relaxed in England (Picture: AFP)‘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.’
Earlier this month, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said it was the Government’s ‘strong preference’ that lockdown measures are lifted at the same time across the country.
However, he said some restrictions could be reimposed at a local level if required.
He said: ‘Our strong preference is that the whole country moves as one.
‘But if, as we build up