Government taking action against more than 100 local coronavirus outbreaks a week
13 July 2020, 07:34 | Updated: 13 July 2020, 09:10
Matt Hancock has revealed outbreaks are being dealt with through small lockdowns and new testing regimes.
The Health Secretary has said more than 100 local outbreaks of coronavirus are being dealt with every week.
Matt Hancock revealed the localised spikes are being targeted ‘swiftly and silently’ by local authorities, with small areas being closed and new testing resources put in place.
Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “Each week there are over a hundred local actions taken across the country – some of these will make the news, but many more are swiftly and silently dealt with.
“This is thanks in large part to the incredible efforts of local authorities – all of whom have stepped up and published their local outbreak control plans in line with the end of June deadline.”
His comments come two weeks after Leicester became the first city in the UK to be put under lockdown, with restrictions expected to be reviewed this week.
But Mr Hancock insisted that most local measures will not include a whole city, but would be concentrated in much smaller areas, or even just one business or building.
For example, if there is an outbreak in a hospital, office or school, this can swiftly be dealt with by closing the premises.
England has already seen this happen, after a hospital in Weston-super-Mare was recently shut down, as well as meat factories in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, and Wrexham and Anglesey.
The Health Secretary added that England's NHS Test and Trace service will continue to provide vital information on how the virus is spreading, with more than 250 testing centres in towns across the country.
"Where we find a cluster or outbreak, we send in extra testing, including mobile testing units that can be deployed anywhere in the country," he said.
This comes after 73 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed at a farm in Herefordshire, with around 200 workers having to self-isolate following the outbreak.
Meanwhile, lockdown rules are easing across England on Monday, with beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlours and nail bars opening their doors again for the first time in four months.
In Wales, pubs and restaurants can serve customers outdoors and hairdressers are opening again, while Scotland will see indoor shopping centres reopen.