Coronavirus watchlist adds 18 new areas including one in south of England
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The latest coronavirus test results have resulted in 18 new places being added to the Government watchlist following a spike in cases.
While cases have increased across the UK – leading to new lockdown measures including local curfews and a nations “Rule of Six” – the watchlist has ballooned in size with more areas added.
The Mirror reports that of the 18 locations added to the watchlist, 14 have jumped straight onto the list of "areas of intervention" following increases in positive Covid-19 test results.
While one area has been added as an "area of enhanced support", and three are now "areas of concern".
Spelthorne, Surrey, in the south of England has been added to the list as a new "area of enhanced support".
The expansion of the areas added to the watchlist come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns a second wave is “inevitable” in the UK.
Areas in the North East of England have already been placed on local lockdown – with 10pm curfews introduced and stricter measures introduced.
However, other areas of England may follow after the 18 locations – Oadby and Wigston, Warrington, Halton, Wolverhampton, South Ribble, Ribble Valley, North Tyneside, West Lancashire, County Durham, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster, and Northumberland – were added to the watchlist.
Meanwhile, Blaby in Leicestershire, has been branded an "new area of enhanced support", while Selby, Spelthorne, and Scarborough are "areas of concern".
Some areas have reason to breathe a sigh of relief, however, as they have been taken off the watchlist.
Those areas are: Swindon, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Breckland, North Norfolk, South Norfolk, Broadland, King's Lynn, and West Norfolk.
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The dramatic changing of status comes after Public Health England analysed the latest test results data from August 7 and September 13.
A summary of the results states: "Several surveillance indicators suggest that Covid-19 activity at a national level has continued to increase during week 37.
"Case detections in England increased from 15,231 in week 36 to 15,693 in week 37.
"Case rates remain highest in North West and Yorkshire and Humber.
"Further increases in detections for week 37 are expected as more results for the most recent samples become available.
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"Positivity rates have increased across most age groups particularly in the 85+ year olds tested through Pillar 2 and those in the 15-44 years in Pillar 1.
"Positivity by regions remains highest in the North.
"At a local authority level, incidence continued to be highest in Bolton. Case rates continued to be highest in the 20-29 year age group."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Johnson has warned a "circuit breaker" two-week lockdown could be on the horizon – introducing a curfew over two weeks to combat rising infection rates.
While a second full locked hasn't yet been ruled out.
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A Number 10 spokesman told the Mirror: "We’ve always been clear our strategy is to keep the virus down as much as possible while protecting education and the economy.
"We are prepared to take action that is necessary, but we obviously want to avoid any extended lockdown."
Meanwhile local lockdowns in parts of the North East include banning residents from socialising with people outside of their households, stricter service rules as pubs, bars and restaurants and earlier closing times.
Public transport is advised to be used only for essential journeys.
Full list of 58 areas on watchlist
Areas of intervention
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Oadby and Wigston
- St. Helens
- South Tyneside
- Newcastle upon Tyne
- South Ribble
- North Tyneside
- West Lancashire
- County Durham
- Ribble Valley
Areas of enhanced support
Areas of concern
- Boris Johnson
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