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New five-step plan for local lockdowns announced by Boris Johnson
3 July 2020, 17:50
A new five-step plan for local lockdowns to combat coronavirus outbreaks has been announced by Boris Johnson.
The prime minister was speaking at the government's Covid-19 press briefing on Friday for the first time since they were dropped from the daily schedule on 23 June.
He said the new five-step plan will include: monitoring, engagement, testing, targeted restrictions and local lockdown "as a last resort."
However, he added he would not hesitate to introduce local lockdowns where necessary, using Leicester as an example.
Local data will be made available to the public via the government's website and both the NHS and Public Health England (PHE) will work with local authorities to identify outbreaks and find solutions.
The full transcript of what the prime minister said can be found below, while he added that the government "will set out more detail soon."
"Public Health England, working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre, will examine carefully data on the spread of the disease and people’s behaviour across the country.
"They will look out for emerging trends, rising case numbers and other indicators while taking into account local factors.
"Critically, we have made local data available to all Directors of Public Health in local authorities, so they too can monitor what is happening in their area. And local data will also be available to the public on the gov.uk dashboard."
"If monitoring identifies local problems, NHS Test and Trace and PHE will work with the relevant local authority to develop a deeper understanding of the problem and identify solutions.
"Working with local agencies, we will seek to keep the local community informed at every stage, so they know what is happening and what actions, if any, they need to take."
"We now have substantial testing capacity nationwide and we have the ability to target that capacity at local areas in order to get a grip on emerging outbreaks.
"Scaled-up testing at a local level, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace, can control the virus and thus avoid more stringent measures."
"If the virus continues to spread, we will restrict activities at particular locations and close individual premises.
"As in Weston-Super-Mare and Kirklees, we will restrict access to places which become hotspots for the virus, while testing people who have spent time in those places, and tracing the contacts of anyone who tests positive."
"If the previous measures have not proven to be enough, we will introduce local lockdowns extending across whole communities.
"As in Leicester, that could mean shutting businesses venues that would otherwise be open, closing schools or urging people once more to stay at home.
"Local lockdowns will be carefully calibrated depending on the scientific and specific circumstances of each outbreak and we are continually exploring smarter means of containing the virus."
It comes after Mr Johnson spoke with LBC's Nick Ferrari on the day before bars and restaurants reopened after more than 100 days of lockdown.
He urged Britons to "enjoy summer sensibly" ahead of the easing of restrictions on Saturday.
The Prime Minister told LBC: "Tomorrow we come to step three of the plan that I set out on 10 May, that everybody, I think, has understood, or huge numbers of people have understood and followed very carefully and very closely.
"And it's because people stuck to that plan that we're now able to carefully and cautiously open up hospitality tomorrow.
"And my message is really for people to enjoy summer sensibly and make sure that it all works."