Failure of local lockdowns to stop Covid-19 spread shows national measures won’t work, claims expert

THE FAILURE of local lockdowns imposed on people across the UK to stop the spread of Covid-19 shows national measures won’t work, experts have claimed.

Areas across the North West and North East of England have been slapped with restrictions as cases of the virus continue to rise.

⚠ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Rex Features

Bolton is currently one of the worst hit areas in the country and experts say further lockdowns won’t help[/caption]

Areas such as Bolton were shut down earlier this month due to a spike in cases.

At the start of the month cases spiralled to the highest rate in the country at 120 per 100,000.

Cases in the area have continued to climb to 200 per 100,000, despite restrictions being placed upon residents in the town.

Another example in the North of England is Oldham, which was one of the first areas after Leicester to be placed under a local lockdown.

Leicester was placed under restrictions on June 30, just days before bars and restaurants were able to reopen across the rest of the country.

Oldham was then placed under local lockdown on July 31 and then a further ban on households mixing was also placed upon the area less than a month later on August 22.

Despite the area being restricted, Oldham is recording 139 cases per 100,000 of the population.

Leicester was the first area in the country to be placed under local restrictions. The graph above shows how cases have progressed since April
Bolton has the most infections in the country and the graph above shows the increase in cases
Cases are also increasing in Salford – which had also been place under local lockdown

Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University has now said the area is a good example of where local lockdowns have had “no impact at all”.

Speaking to The Telegraph he said: “Attempting to reduce the numbers over the summer can have the counterproductive effect of increasing the susceptible population going into winter.

“We are now seeing rises across the country in line with the seasonal effect of going back to schools and universities, all of which is highly predictable and happens every year for circulating respiratory pathogens.”

Over the summer months restrictions were eased across the UK, with hair salons and even cinemas opening their doors to customers.

The government had also encouraged people to head back to the office and kids also started attending school once more.

Leicester had been the first area to be locked down and some areas, such as Oadby and Wigston are still struggling to keep cases under control.

By mid-August cases in Leicester were 27 per 100,000 each week, but by mid-September they climbed to 90 per 100,000 each week.

Measures were then imposed which meant people could not mix with those who they did not live with.

Looking towards the North of England and areas such as Salford, Tameside and Rochdale have seen no relaxation on restrictions since the end of July and case numbers are once again rising in these areas.



Cases in Salford have gone from 20 per 100,000 in July to 117 per 100,000 per week in September.

Rochdale has 124 cases per 100,000, the most recent data from PHE shows.

Robert Dingwall, Prof of Sociology, at Nottingham Trent University said the attention of the government should have been on vaccines and not local lockdowns.

He said the figures “do not give great confidence” that the measures announced will be successful.

He added: “The rumoured ban on households meeting has no better basis of evidence beyond the desire to be seen to ‘do something’.”

At present in the UK the rule of six applies. Which means you can socialise in or outdoors in a group of six people from six different households.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DD-COMPOSITE-UK-LOCKDOWN-MAP-25-sept-v4-1.jpgThe graphic above shows the areas of the UK that are currently locked down

Face masks or coverings have to be worn on public transport and have to be worn by shop staff and shoppers alike.

It was revealed today that ministers could place the North West and London under further restrictions.

All pubs and restaurants could be ordered to shut for a fortnight and different households banned from socialising indoors under the emergency plan.

Increased testing in hotspot areas has shown an increase in cases.

But some areas that were placed on lockdowns and had later been released, were later told restrictions had been slapped on once more.

One example is in Bolton – which is the worst hit area in the country, where restrictions were lifted on September 2, only to be imposed again just hours later.

The latest data from PHE states that Bolton has 201 infections per 100,000.

Burnley was released from local lockdown at the beginning of the month and just weeks later on September 18, was placed back under restrictions.

On September 22 restrictions were brought in in areas such as Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees in West Yorkshire, as well as Hyndburn, Preston and Pendle in Lancashire and Blackpool.

Sam Williams, of Economic Insight said the case data needs to be looked at with care and added that “interventions were having no observable impact on death rates”.


To Top