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The 29 hotspots on Public Health England’s coronavirus watch list – and at risk of local lockdown

HEALTH chiefs have revealed their latest watch list of coronavirus hotspots – including those now at risk of new localised lockdowns.

Public Health England names 21 ‘areas of intervention’ where special measures are already in place and eight ‘areas of concern’ where restrictions could come next.

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Newark and Sherwood in Nottinghamshire is the latest region added to the list following a worrying rise in reported infections.

It has now been deemed an ‘area of concern’ in the new report released by experts from PHE.

The area has recorded 26.3 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in the last seven days.

However, while cases are rising in the so-called hotspots, hospital admissions and deaths are not spiking suggesting the outbreaks are not that severe.

And many of the areas on the list tend to have higher testing rates which goes some way towards explaining the higher cases of detection.

A ban on locals meeting indoors or in their gardens will now continue in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester.

Casinos, ice skating rinks, bowling alleys and indoor play areas will also remain closed in these areas, despite reopening elsewhere.

Ministers have refused to lift the restrictions as coronavirus infection rates remain stubbornly high.

Health minister Edward Argar said he knew the continuing restrictions had not been easy.

He added: “We will review the measures again next week as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the latest data.

“I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules – wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to.”

Pools, indoor gyms, nail bars, spas and beauty salons will remain closed across Bradford, Blackburn and Leicester.

 

 

Health bosses warned that all local the current lockdowns were “under constant consideration”.

And said other towns could be slapped with tough new restrictions if infection rates crept up.

The hotspots were named in PHE’s Covid-19 Weekly Surveillance report which reveals the areas with the highest current rate of transmissions in England.

It states: “The majority of COVID-19 surveillance indicators suggest that COVID-19 activity remained stable at a national level during week 32.

“Case detections in England increased slightly from 5,019 in week 31 to 5,401 in week 32.

“Increases in activity were noted in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands.

“At a local authority level, incidence was highest in Oldham, followed by Blackburn with Darwen which continues to decrease.

“Case detections remain highest in adults aged 85 and over and cases in this age group have increased in recent weeks, which may be related to ongoing care homes incidents.”

In ‘areas of concern’ special measures include additional testing in care homes and increased community engagement with high risk groups.

And in ‘areas of intervention’ detailed action plans are put in place to combat the spread of infection – like lockdowns.

Another area – Eden – was removed due to a drop in cases while Luton is deemed to need ‘enhanced support.’

Cases are still surging in Oldham and Pendle – which have both been hit with lockdown restrictions.

In Oldham there are now 89.7 new infections per 100,000 people each week, while in Pendle the figure is 82.3.

Lockdown regulations in Leciester and large parts of northern England will stay in place until at least next week.

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