Local lockdown: How and why will they happen in other places?

Last updated at 17:08
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After the first place in the UK has been put into a 'local lockdown', the Prime Minister has outlined how and why more might happen in England.

People living in Leicester - a city which is home to around half a million people - now have to follow stricter rules than other parts of England. It's because the number of coronavirus cases there went up.

Although the number of cases across the UK overall is going down, the PM - Boris Johnson - has said local outbreaks are "to be expected".

One way of dealing with these is to have stricter rules in places where there is a rise - like has happened in Leicester.

Mr Johnson said: "Our goal remains to enable as many people as possible to live their lives as close to normally as possible in a way that is as fair and as safe as possible.

"We need to move away from blanket national measures to targeted local measures. So, instead of locking down the whole country, we will lock down specific premises, or local areas where the virus is spreading."

He added that instead of shutting all schools, only those where is it is "absolutely necessary" to control an outbreak would be closed.

City centrePA Media
Leicester is the first place in the UK to be put into a local lockdown for at least a fortnight
How will the government decide if a local lockdown should be put in place?

The Prime Minister has outlined five steps for approaching local outbreaks, saying that a local lockdown is a "last resort":

  1. Monitoring
  2. Engagement
  3. Testing
  4. Targeted restrictions
  5. Local lockdown

So what does this mean?

Monitoring

Experts and scientists will examine data around the spread of the disease, for example looking at trends and increases in the number of cases, to identify any local problems.

Engagement

This involves developing a "deeper understanding" of the findings from the monitoring stage and working out solutions.

Testing

Testing people for the virus will be targeted to local areas.

Mr Johnson said: "We now have substantial testing capacity nationwide and we have the ability to target that capacity at local areas in order to get a grip on emerging outbreaks."

Targeted restrictions

If the virus continues to spread, activities will be restricted in certain locations and individual premises will be closed, for example if there is an outbreak at a factory, the factory would be shut.

Local lockdown

The Prime Minister said this was a "last resort" and will only happen if the previous measures don't stop the virus spreading. Rules will be in place for whole communities, rather than an individual building or premises. Schools might be closed, non-essential shops shut and people urged to stay at home - this is what has happened in Leicester.

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WATCH: Kids react to Leicester's local lockdown
Does this mean England is 'out' of lockdown?

The simple answer is no.

Although many rules have been relaxed, the lockdown still hasn't been lifted entirely.

For example there are still restrictions on places such as public swimming pools, and big gatherings indoors still can't happen.

The PM also said "social distancing is still essential".

He added that next week though, more detail and a timetable will be revealed about lifting some of the remaining national restrictions "as and when it is safe to do so".

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