Leeds and London face Covid interventions as virus fears rise | World news

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Leeds is likely to face new restrictions from midnight in the fight against Covid-19, including a ban on households mixing, its city council leader has said, as London was put on the government’s “watchlist”.

Judith Blake said she expected Leeds to be made an “area of intervention”, meaning “more household restrictions along the lines of those already in force across three of the West Yorkshire districts in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale”.

She told reporters: “We expect them to come in from midnight.”

The addition of Leeds’s 793,000 population would take the number of people living under local restrictions to more than 16.2 million across the UK.

Tom Riordan, the chief executive of Leeds city council, said: “What we are trying to do is give a simple message – you shouldn’t really mix with other households.”

He said about 780,000 people would come under the new measures, which could be in place through the winter.

He added: “I think we know from the experience of Leicester, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire that when these restrictions are brought in they do not tend to be lifted after a week or two.”

London Councils, a cross-party organisation which represents all 32 boroughs and the City of London, said the English capital was being placed on the national Covid-19 watchlist.

The list is divided between areas where intervention is required via local lockdown restrictions and areas of concern that are closely monitored.

London Councils said no additional measures were being taken in the city but that its entry on the list was a “stark reminder that now is time for all Londoners to pull together and take action to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe, and to ensure that London’s economy is protected”.

A statement said: “There are no additional measures at this stage but it is welcome that that the city’s testing capacity is boosted so that Londoners have timely access to Covid-19 tests and the government must ensure that this is sustained from now on. If Londoners have Covid-19 symptoms they should apply for a test at nhs/coronavirus or call 119.

“London boroughs are working with their communities, business and the police to engage, educate, explain and, if necessary, enforce the new restrictions and regulations, and the government must ensure that it funds these so resources do not need to be drawn from other services.

“We ask all Londoners to work together and abide by the national restrictions announced on Tuesday.”

The announcement came as new data showed the estimated number of cases of coronavirus across England had jumped 60% in one week. There were around 9,600 new coronavirus infections a day in England, up on 6,000 the week before, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey.

The survey, which tests thousands of people in English homes, whether they have symptoms or not, found an estimated 103,600 people had Covid-19 from September 13 to 19, equating to around one in 500 people.

The ONS said: “The estimate shows the number of infections has increased in recent weeks. In recent weeks, there has been clear evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in all age groups, with the current rates highest in the 17-to-24 age group.

“There is evidence of higher infection rates in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, London and North East.”

Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Leeds and London face Covid interventions as virus fears rise | World news

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