Coronavirus: Six areas added to England's COVID-19 watchlist

1 October 2020, 16:09 | Updated: 1 October 2020, 18:14

Six areas in England have been added to the coronavirus watchlist and two have been removed.

The places added to the list of "areas of concern" for coronavirus are:

  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Cheshire East
  • Wakefield, West Yorkshire
  • Rotherham. South Yorkshire
  • Luton in Bedfordshire (re-added)

A place on the watchlist means tougher restrictions could be considered soon.

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Spelthorne in Surrey and Hertsmere in Hertfordshire have been removed from the watchlist.

Sheffield, meanwhile, now has a more serious status as an "area of enhanced support" - meaning it will get access to extra resources.

Blaby in Leicestershire has been de-escalated from an "area of enhanced support" to an "area of concern".

This is alongside the tougher rules for Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough - announced earlier in the day - that mean different households are banned from mixing in any indoor setting.

The Department of Health says that levels of infection are being constantly monitored and it "is prepared to take immediate action should the epidemiological evidence show that further measures are required".

"Restrictions will only apply for as long as they are necessary to cut transmission of the virus and protect local communities," it said.

Where areas are added to the watchlist, Public Health England will help communities take action, including with targeted testing of high-risk areas and enhanced messaging around handwashing and social distancing.

The changes come on the same day that the UK recorded 6,914 coronavirus cases - a slight fall on the day before.

In other developments, Turkey and Poland have been removed as travel corridors for England, meaning travellers arriving from the 4 October from those countries must self-isolate for 14 days.