Covid latest: High volume of cases could bring lightning lockdowns in local areas | UK | News (Reports)

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The Health Secretary refused to rule out regionally imposed lockdowns once national restrictions have been lifted. The news comes as regional spikes in particular areas around the country.

In the last seven days, cases have risen in Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield but have significantly declined in Wiltshire, South Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Mr Hancock, speaking at Friday’s press conference, announced the “goal” is to ease restrictions nationally but could not “rule out taking local action”.

He said: “We proposed to come out of the national lockdown all together.

“These regional disparities are smaller than we saw in the autumn.

“We don’t rule out taking local action in an individual area as we see a spike. But the goal is for us all to come out together.”

The Health Secretary stressed the importance of staying in keeping with lockdown protocols, adding: “It isn’t over yet”.

Data shown at the conference suggests one in five local authority areas across the country have seen cases rise in the last week.

Dr Sue Hopkins, senior medical adviser at Public Health England, said regional differences in case rates could be due to occupational and workplace differences.

READ MORE: Matt Hancock left squirming as Covid briefing descends into chaos

Mr Hancock added that the number of deaths and hospital administrations are still “far too high”.

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said: “In some parts of the UK, case rates are changing, albeit slowly, in the wrong direction.

“This is not a good sign and reinforces the fact that I’m afraid this battle at the moment is not won.”

Mr Hancock would not rule out the possibility of vaccine passports which would be needed to do certain activities such as attending festivals and going to the pub.

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