Coronavirus: Bradford and London boroughs among 36 'at-risk' areas that could be 'just days away' from local lockdowns

A local lockdown has been enforced in Leicester following a spike in coronavirus cases (Sky News)

Further local lockdowns are "just days away" following the drawing up of a list of 36 "at-risk" areas, Sky News understands.

Sources in Public Health England and the Department for Health told Sky News they are "working collaboratively", focusing on the 36 areas in England where coronavirus cases are rising.

As a result, local lockdowns like the one in Leicester could be implemented in "just days".

It is believed that the City of Bradford and boroughs in London, including Brent and Harrow, could be the next to lockdown after sources confirmed there were an increased number of COVID-19 cases over the last week.

There are concerns that local lockdowns may be brought on because of high numbers of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in those communities.

BAME people have been disproportionately hit during the pandemic.

Some of the factors include multi-generational and overcrowded housing and the fact that many key workers are from the BAME community.

Leicester, Brent and Harrow all have high numbers of overcrowded homes, predominantly of people from a south Asian heritage.

Outside of London, Leicester has some of the highest rates of overcrowded housing in the country.

There are also a high number of ethnic minority key workers in the city.

It is estimated around a quarter of the BAME population has been working throughout this pandemic in jobs such as taxi and bus drivers, security guards and in the healthcare sector.

But there are questions over why the recommendations from the Public Health England review looking into disparities within ethnicity from COVID-19, which was given to the government at the end of May, have not been implemented.

Recommendations included targeted messages to different communities to promote COVID-19 prevention programmes and developing occupational risk assessments which take ethnicity into account.

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Locals in Leicester believe that with these in place a local lockdown could have been prevented.

A Public Health England spokesperson said: "PHE publishes daily cases of COVID-19 broken down by local authority which includes people tested as part of pillar 1.

"This is used as one of a number of indicators to help us and partner organisations to identify trends in local areas and to take action accordingly.

"To use these data in isolation to predict which areas will see significant increases in cases is not appropriate as they do not provide a complete picture of what is happening locally."

It has been widely reported that the 36 "at-risk" areas are:

  • Havering

  • Wiltshire

  • Wandsworth

  • Gloucestershire

  • Ealing

  • Hammersmith and Fulham

  • Doncaster

  • Plymouth

  • Barking and Dagenham

  • Westminster

  • Milton Keynes

  • Wakefield

  • Haringey

  • Medway

  • Hounslow

  • Brent

  • Harrow

  • Kensington and Chelsea

  • Slough

  • Suffolk

  • Redbridge

  • Sandwell

  • Enfield

  • Tower Hamlets

  • York

  • Sunderland

  • Wigan

  • Windsor and Maidenhead

  • Leicester

  • Gateshead

  • Isle of Wight

  • Richmond upon Thames

  • Portsmouth

  • Redcar and Cleveland

  • Derbyshire

  • Walsall

Sky News is contacting all 36 local authorities, the Department of Health and the Local Government Association for comment.