Local Covid lockdowns may be needed in winter, says expert

·1-min read
Local lockdowns could be set to return  (PA Wire)
Local lockdowns could be set to return (PA Wire)

Local lockdowns could return to the UK this winter if Covid rates remain high, an expert has warned.

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King's College London, told The Sun newspaper that regional rules could be necessary this winter, when viruses circulate easier.

Although the UK is seeing flat Covid rates overall, Scotland’s coronavirus cases have shot up in recent week with to hospitals under pressure.

Prof Spector, who leads the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, said: “If we look at the picture across the country, you can see most regions are staying flat or declining slightly which is fantastic news.

“The only region going up is Scotland, and it’s high and getting higher, and it’s the highest ever incidence rate we’ve seen since we started collecting our records.

“It means we can’t be complacent and also means we need to start looking regionally, rather than globally, because each region will have different pressures on its health service.”

He said it shows the “need to start looking regionally” at how to help flatten the rate of infections curve.

“Some sort of regional restrictions might be coming as we approach flu season in some areas,” he added.

“But I think it’s going to be a very different picture around the country.

“I hope I’m wrong, and this is a localised problem to Scotland. We don’t really understand why Scotland has done so badly recently, and this hasn’t had the same effect on England and Wales.”

Localised restrictions have been used in previous waves of the virus, down to postcode level but a more widespread approach has been used throughout the individual UK nations in 2021.

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