While the government first announced that the UK was going in to full lockdown on 23rd March, restrictions have been slowly easing in the past few weeks.
However, it appears that the path out of lockdown won’t be straightforward, with the news that more cities are going into a localised lockdown seemingly every week. Leicester was the first to go into a local lockdown as a result of a rise in coronavirus cases in the area during the month of June.
But, Leicester is not the only part of the UK to have seen a spike in Covid-19 cases recently.
Recent changes to the UK’s quarantine list and new government guidance issued for the whole of England on how many people you can socialise with inside and outside your homes comes as the whole of England has seen the biggest rise in coronavirus cases since May.
As such, it’s thought that more cities could be becoming vulnerable to a spike in cases and a local lockdown in the coming months. Especially as even with increased safety measures in schools, the influx of children returning to the classroom and students going back to university could see the country develop a higher rate of transmission over the coming months.
So which other towns, cities and counties could be at risk of a localised lockdown? And which areas have recently been placed under new lockdown restrictions?
Local lockdown list: which places are in lockdown in UK?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that certain areas across England are now facing new localised lockdown restrictions, in light of sharply rising coronavirus cases in those areas.
The regions now under new restrictions include parts of North-east England, Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, parts of the Midlands and parts of West Yorkshire.
These are the places in lockdown in UK:
- Blackburn with Darwen
- North Tyneside
- South Tyneside
- Caerphilly County
- Rhondda Cynon Taf
- Glasgow City
- East Renfrewshire
- East Dunbartonshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull received ‘intervention’ and were instructed to go into a localised lockdown beginning on Tuesday September 15. Some schools in the area have closed, households will no longer be able to mix, even in groups smaller than 6, and there has been delays in testing for those who want one. Further to this, it has also been announced that the North-east of England, namely Newcastle, Northumberland, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham, will take on some restrictions to avoid a full lockdown. The new measures, which are thought to include pubs closing earlier and limited inter-household mixing, will be announced on Thursday September 17 with the new changes coming into effect from midnight.
It comes as the area has seen a steep rise in cases of the last few weeks and ministers’ concerns over the prospect of a ‘cancelled’ Christmas for the country. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson told The Sun newspaper, “The only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now.”
The measures mean that different households will now not be able to meet inside homes, or even outside in private gardens. However, many have noted that individual households can still go to the pub – they just can’t meet another household there and socialise with them. You can still meet however if you are in a support bubble.
At the time of the first local lockdown announcement in Leicester, Matt Hancock explained that the swift action has been taken as a result of information gained from contact tracing. He revealed that infections were up as a result of people visiting friends and family in recent weeks. But the regulations drew criticism, with many noting that they was announced just hours before being put into force at midnight the night before, and, right before the Eid celebration, on July 31 when many families and friends normally gather.
Localised lockdown list: which areas are still at risk?
Some areas have not yet been put under new local lockdown restrictions, but remain at risk of these being imposed.
Originally 36 towns, cities and counties were released as areas at risk of local lockdown. Local lockdowns mean stricter restrictions from the police. A full list of restrictions from the Met Police can be found here.
But recently, others areas have been upgraded to being at risk when it comes to their rising coronavirus cases.
According to new data compiled by Public Health England, 29 local authorities are on the government’s watch-list, as a result of rising reported Covid-19 infections.
The new report from the government’s health sector was published on August 14, and details the number of infections per 100,000 people in each area.
Each area is divided into the severity of cases, with some requiring “invention” and others needing “Enhanced Support” or showing “Concern”.
According to the list published in September, Bolton currently has the highest number of cases per 100,000 in the UK, with Leicester, which was the first area to go into local lockdown, experiencing a decline in cases but still remaining in lockdown.
The areas at risk of local lockdown include:
- Bolton – 212.7
- Blackburn with Darwen – 122.9
- Oadby and Wigston – 119.2
- Hyndburn – 117.6
- Preston – 105.1
- Warrington – 105.0
- Tameside – 103.5
- Sunderland – 103.1
- Oldham – 98.9
- Birmingham – 98.0
- Bradford – 97.5
- Liverpool – 95.8
- Wirral – 95.6
- Burnley – 93.8
- Knowsley – 92.9
- St. Helen’s – 91.6
- Bury – 90.5
- Salford – 88.8
- Leicester – 86.7
- South Tyneside – 86.5
- Rochdale – 84.1
- Manchester – 83.6
- Gateshead – 77.5
- Solihull – 77.2
- Leeds – 75.5
- Sandwell – 72.1
- Newcastle upon Tyne – 69.6
- Blaby – 65.7
- Selby – 65.1
- Pendle – 61.3
- Halton – 60.7
- Kirklees – 60.4
- Wolverhampton – 60.3
- Calderdale – 59.5
- Rossendale – 57.8
- Hartlepool – 55.8
- Sheffield – 53.7
- Spelthorne – 53.4
- South Ribble – 52.5
- Corby – 50.8
- Sefton – 49.0
- Stockport – 48.7
- North Tyneside – 48.5
- West Lancashire – 47.4
- County Durham – 46.7
- Middlesborough – 47.0
- Trafford – 45.7
- Northampton – 42.6
- Scarborough – 42.3
- Hertsmere – 37.4
- Chorley – 35.1
- Wyre – 34.2
- Peterborough – 30.3
- Stoke-on-Trent – 27.4
- Northumberland – 24.7
- Lancaster – 22.9
- Ribble Valley – 18.3
The data is based on testing that occurred between September 7 and September 13 2020 and data up to September 15 where available.
Now following the rise in cases across the UK and new guidelines released by the World Health Organisation, further measures have been put into place in areas under local lockdown. This includes children and teachers wearing face masks in corridors and other spaces as schools went back at the beginning of September.
To also help the track and trace system during this time, guidance has been given on how to download the new NHS contact tracing app. With the app, available on the Apple app store and Google Play, living in England and Wales can see the threat level of coronavirus in their area, find out if they need to self isolate and track symptoms.
Is London going into lockdown?
The capital has been warned that it could take on more lockdown restrictions if the government’s latest set of coronavirus restrictions don’t prove effective in curbing the surge in coronavirus cases. As one London council leader reportedly said, “Our epidemic is as developed as the north. There’s a consensus a lockdown [in London] is coming.”
While the director of Public Health England (PHE), Kevin Fenton, said that rates of coronavirus are particularly high in London and that the situation could “escalate” in the coming weeks. He said, “We are seeing a rising tide of coronavirus cases in London across a broad range of ages. This is no longer limited to young people in their twenties.”
“Whilst the number of cases by borough varies, the general trend across the city is one of steadily increasing transmission and if that continues then the situation may escalate.”
This comes as national lockdown restrictions have now come into effect, with pubs and hospitality venues set to close at 10pm and all users of private hire car service and retail staff must wear masks. The government’s NHS COVID-19 track and trace app has also now been launched, with the health secretary encouraging the population to download it on mass. It’s thought that by using the app, the government will be able to spot spikes in cases and avoid a national second lockdown.
Wales lockdown: Which Welsh counties are going into lockdown?
Caerphilly County and Rhondda Cynon Taf went into lockdown earlier in September, following a significant rise in cases. The restrictions are significantly stricter than elsewhere in Wales, with people not allowed to enter or leave the boroughs without a reasonable excuse, everyone over the age of 11 has to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and people can only meet outdoors for the time being. Households are also not allowed to mix, with residents unable to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household – also known as a ‘support bubble’.
On September 21, it was announced by the health minister for Wales that following another surge in cases in other areas of Wales, more regions would be taking on local lockdown rules. From 6pm on Tuesday September 22, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport will have the same restrictions as the other restricted areas. All pubs will be required to close by 11pm as well, a rule that’s now also been extended to Caerphilly County as well.
The Health Minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething confirmed that it would take two weeks for the new measures to have a positive effect. Speaking about the latest changes, he said, “We have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport. In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health. It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of south Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.
“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”
North-East England: Are Northumberland and Newcastle going into lockdown?
It seems that the North-east of England, including the areas of Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham will be taking on more social restrictions as of midnight on Thursday September 17 in order to avoid a full localised lockdown like that seen in places such as Leicester. This means that while the hospitality industry will stay open, there will be restrictions on opening times and people will be encouraged not to mix with other households at any point either inside or outside the home. Public transport will also go back to being for only ‘essential travel’.
Nick Forbes, Newcastle City Council leader, has said that the changes are being put in place to “prevent another full lockdown” and said that the measures being put in place were about “re-introducing social distancing where the evidence says it is slipping. That way we will avoid a full lockdown.”
This news follows the PM’s appearance in front of the House of Commons liaison Committee, where he emphasised the importance of these localised lockdown restrictions to prevent another total lockdown for the whole country. He said, “I don’t want a second national lockdown, I think it would be completely wrong for this country. We are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.
“Can we afford it? I very much doubt the financial consequences would be anything but disastrous.”
Leeds lockdown: Is Leeds going into lockdown?
Leeds, along with Middlesbrough, Corby, Kettering and South Tyneside, have all been added to the government’s ‘watch list’ following a rise in cases in the area. This means that although there could be restrictions in the coming weeks, the city is currently not under any lockdown restrictions.
For the week beginning August 31 the infection rate was 47.3 per 100,000, but in the last week it’s believed to have risen to 69.7.
Those in the city have been encouraged to following national guidelines by wearing face masks in indoor public spaces, take other means of transport – such as a bike or walking – where possible and keep a 2-meter distance where possible.
Leicester lockdown update: Is Leicester still in lockdown?
While restrictions on gathering in homes and gardens will remain in place for now, Leicester’s localised lockdown is slowly starting to be lifted. According to advice issued by the government in August, bars and restaurants, hotels, cinemas, theatres, hair salons, barbers, outdoor gyms and all other non-essential shops are now allowed to re-open. After September 15, other businesses will also be allowed to reopen.
These will include:
- Skating rinks and bowling alleys
- Indoor play areas, including soft play areas
- Exhibition centres and conference halls for external attendees
- Spaces for indoor performances only
Close contact beauty services, which include treatments on the face like eyebrow threading, and weddings will also be allowed to go ahead once again.
The latest review took place on September and it was decided that restrictions on the city would stay in place, but the next review is due to take place on September 24.
Greater Manchester lockdown: Is Manchester still in lockdown?
Since July 30, Manchester has been under a localised lockdown, following a rise in positive cases of coronavirus. After the review on Wednesday September 2, it was announced that some areas of the region would come out of lockdown but following a government U-turn, Bolton and Trafford would stay under the restrictions.
For the moment, many of the areas in Greater Manchester are still under a local lockdown.
It came after Matt Hancock announced that there had been a “significant change” in the levels of coronavirus infection over the just a few days.
Those living in Wigan and Stockport are under the national guidance and can see others outside their own household, while people in Manchester, Trafford, Salford, Tameside, Rochdale and Bury are not allowed to mix with others outside their own households.
Following a rise in cases, Oldham and Bolton are experiencing the strictest lockdown in the north of England. Residents have been informed that they are not allowed to mix with households outside their own, either outside or inside. They also have to avoid using public transport wherever possible.
On September 8, it was also announced that those living in Bolton would be subjected to even tighter restrictions, amid a nationwide consideration of the lockdown rules. Hospitality venues will also now only be allowed to offer takeaways and all must close between 10pm and 5am.
The MP for Bolton, Chris Green said that he was “disappointed” by the lack of clarity from the government on the decision to keep Bolton on lockdown “because of the impact this will have on people’s lives.”
Glasgow lockdown: Is Glasgow now in lockdown?
After a swift rise in coronavirus cases, Glasgow is saw restrictions tightened across the city and surrounding areas. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that under the changes, which will apply to the City of Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, households were not be able to visit each other from midnight on Tuesday September 1.
The new measures were set to stay in place for two weeks but after a review earlier in the week, have now been extended for at least another week.
On making the announcement, Nicola Sturgeon said that these decisions were not made lightly. “They form guidance at the moment but we will consider if necessary putting them into regulation and giving them the force of the law.
“I cannot rule out if we don’t see these measures working and being effective, that we may have to go further.”
“They form guidance at the moment but we will consider if necessary putting them into regulation and giving them the force of law.
“I cannot rule out if we don’t see these measures working and being effective, that we may have to go further.
Aberdeen lockdown update: what restrictions are still in place there?
The city of Aberdeen was placed under tighter Covid restrictions on August 5, due to rising cases of the virus. But following a review on August 23, it’s been announced that some restrictions on the city will be lifted as of midnight on the same day.
While not all the restrictions have been lifted, the five mile travel restriction on all non-essential travel has come to an end and people can now meet indoors. Businesses will be able to open again from Wednesday but pubs, restaurants and cafes have been warned they’ll have to pass environmental health checks.
Director of Public Health for NHS Grampian, Susan Webb said, “We must be cautious to ensure the progress we have made is maintained.
“Crucially, we must all be observing physical distancing from those not in our immediate household; whether at work, meeting socially, in a supermarket or out for exercise and recreation.”
The first minister said she hoped that some restrictions could be eased from Wednesday August 26, following the closure of pubs and restaurants two weeks ago and restrictions placed on travel.
Stoke on Trent lockdown: is the city going into lockdown?
Following a steep rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases in Stoke on Trent, the city was looking to be the next major hub to go into lockdown back in August. But after a steady decline in cases per 100,000 people since the area introduced some increased social distancing restrictions, Stoke on Trent has moved further down the government’s watchlist and now has just over 25 cases per 100,000 people according to data for the week beginning August 31.
Speaking about the area’s positive reception to the measures, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that he was “very grateful” to those living in Stoke on Trent for “responding as positively as they did” and the full lockdown was avoided as “Stoke on Trent got in there fast and acted.”
This included faith leaders acting quickly and closing down two major places of worship for two weeks and the local government identifying areas with a concentrated number of cases.
Blackburn local lockdown: Is the town in lockdown?
Blackburn with Darwen currently has the sixth highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in England with 61.8, following the latest report. This means that the area is still facing lockdown restrictions and those in the area should limit social contact between friends and family. However, the numbers have drastically decreased from last month where at one point the area had the most number of cases in the UK. It’s thought that this was the result of delaying the reopening of some businesses, which opened elsewhere in the country on August 15.
Bradford local lockdown: Is Bradford in lockdown?
Bradford is still under restrictions, as West Yorkshire remains in a localised lockdown.
Bradford council have posted an explainer on what people in the area now can and cannot do.
Rochdale local lockdown: Is Rochdale going into lockdown?
Rochdale was previously fourth on the list of worst-hit areas for virus infections, but has dropped in cases over the past few months. However, being in Greater Manchester, it’s still under new restrictions from the government and so residents can’t meet up with people inside or outside their homes.
Oldham lockdown: Is Oldham still in lockdown?
Oldham in Manchester was one of the first areas to be put under new coronavirus guidance, with quickly rising Covid-19 cases, before many other parts of the North of England followed suit. This means that those living in Oldham are now not permitted to meet up indoors or outdoors, and must maintain a social distance.
Birmingham lockdown: What are the rules in Birmingham?
As one of the biggest cities in the Midlands, Birmingham went into lockdown in September amid a surge in cases in the area. Sandwell and Solihull, two of the surrounding areas, are also included in the new restrictions which prohibit households mixing inside or outside and some schools closing.
It has also been reported by BirminghamLive that NHS and council staff are conducting tests door-to-door in coronavirus hotspots around the city from Monday September 4, in order to reach those who might not be able to get one elsewhere.
The rate of infection has almost doubled in Birmingham in the last week, rising to 90.3 cases per 100,000 people.
But in Birmingham, you are still allowed to:
- Visit the shops, restaurants and other venues, in groups of no more than six people.
- Go to work if you cannot work from home.
- Children are allowed to continue to go to school, even though some institutions have taken their classes online.
- Use public transport, following all guidelines around face coverings and social distancing
The MP for Birmingham, Andy Street said over the weekend, “We will use these restrictions, look at how the numbers move, and if they are not sufficient, we might have to go further,” Andy Street said on Sunday.
Swindon lockdown: Is Swindon going into lockdown?
Although currently not in lockdown, there is some speculation as to whether Swindon could be the first city in the south of England to go back into lockdown. Swindon has been struggling with a rise in cases and has become the city with the sixth highest number of coronavirus cases, reaching 44.1 per 100,000 for the week ending August 9.
However, the local council are insisting that the outbreak is under control and there is currently no need for a localised lockdown.
Do you live in any of the localised lockdown areas?