04 September 2020 18:33
FREE now SUBSCRIBE Invalid email Make the most of your money by signing up to our newsletter fornow We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. Leeds has been added to Public Health England's weekly coronavirus watchlist as an "area of concern" after its seven-day infection rate rose dramatically. Leeds City Council announced the area was joining this list with one councillor saying the next few days are "pivotal" for the region. But will Leeds go into local lockdown?
Trending More than six million people in England currently live in areas on the Public Health England's coronavirus watchlist. These areas could be looking at further coronavirus restrictions in a bid to curb the rate of coronavirus spreading. People in Leeds have been warned to make a "collective effort" in a bit to avoid further restrictions. The city has been added to the PHE's watchlist after its seven-day infection rate rose to 29.4 cases per 100,000 people. READ MORE: Coronavirus update UK: Will there be a second lockdown?
Full watchlist Leeds lockdown: Will Leeds go into lockdown? Leeds lockdown: Socially distanced musical performance READ MORE Coronavirus map LIVE: Leeds to be added to lockdown watch list If cases of coronavirus continue to rise, more stringent measures could be imposed. Council leader Judith Blake said it was "a pivotal moment in our efforts to control the spread of the virus". She said: "Nobody wants to see further restrictions on life in Leeds. "The harsh reality is that if our infection rate continues to rise as it has been, we will be left with no alternative." Leeds lockdown: The Public Health England's current seven-day infection rate is 29.4 The latest report is expected to be published today, September 4. Each week the PHE publishes a list of areas it is concerned about based upon new coronavirus infection rates and other important data. These places are categorised as either: areas of concern, areas of enhanced support and areas of intervention. The previous report published on August 28 put the following areas on the watchlist: Pendle Oldham Blackburn with Darwen Leicester Bradford Manchester Rochdale Northampton, Salford Bury Kirklees Calderdale Tameside Preston Swindon Burnley Birmingham Sandwell Bolton Trafford Stockport Hyndburn Stoke-on-Trent Newark & Sherwood Wakefield Oadby and Wigston Luton Peterborough Slough. DON'T MISS Coronavirus hotspots MAPPED: Could these areas be next for lockdown? [MAPS] North East England lockdown: Areas at risk of lockdown as cases rise [INSIGHT] Holly Willoughby inundated with messages as she asks for 'advice' [EXPLAINER] READ MORE Nicola Sturgeon mocked for COVID-19 Twitter rant amid lockdown fears According to the latest data on the Government's coronavirus website, Leeds has had 4,664 positive cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic in this area. The current rate per 100,000 people is 588. The Leeds council said 44 new cases were identified on Wednesday, with Ms Blake attributing this increase to a "range of things". Ms Blake said: "This is a rise in all different wards across the city, particularly in young adults of all communities. "September is a critical time, we have our schools going back and then we have significant numbers of students travelling from all over the country and beyond to come back to our universities." The latest testing positivity rate was at 4.2 percent. Leeds lockdown: The latest testing positivity rate for coronavirus is 4.2 percent Will Leeds go into lockdown? Several other parts of West Yorkshire have been subject to tighter coronavirus restrictions for many weeks. Leeds has thus far avoided stricter measures because its infection rates have been so much lower. But, there were 261 cases in the week up until 30 August, up from 167 in the week up until 23 August. It is a 'crucial time' for the city, Leeds City Council's director of public health said (Picture: Getty) There will be 'no alternative' to introducing further lockdown restrictions in Leeds if coronavirus cases continue to rise, council leaders have warned. The northern city has been added to Public Health England's weekly watch list of areas of concern after its seven-day infection rate increased to 29.4 cases per 100,000 people. No restrictions will be immediately brought in – but the situation will be closely monitored and it is said to be 'a crucial time for the city'. Council leader and chair of the outbreak control board, Judith Blake, said: 'This is a pivotal moment in our efforts to control the spread of the virus in Leeds and to keep our city open. Advertisement 'Nobody wants to see further restrictions on life in Leeds and we want to assure everyone that we're doing absolutely everything within our power to avoid that happening. 'But the harsh reality is that if our infection rate continues to rise as it has been, we will be left with no alternative. 'With that in mind, now more than ever we need a collective effort from the people of Leeds who have shown so much resilience and civic pride throughout this crisis. 'It's up to us all to keep our families, friends and neighbours safe and to play our part in keeping Leeds's recovery going.' Shoppers wear face-masks in the city centre of Leeds (Picture: AFP via Getty Images) Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council's director of public health, added: 'It's imperative that we do all we can to contain the spread of this virus and protect one another at this crucial time for the city.' The council has reminded people to isolate if anyone in their household is showing Covid-19 symptoms, to keep social distancing, to wear a face covering and to wash hands regularly. It comes after it was revealed a local lockdown could be imminent in Dacorum after cases numbers soared – specifically in the town of Hemel Hempstead. An uncontained outbreak among young people who have been to pubs and cafes in Tring and Berkhamstead is of particular concern, public health Cllr Tim Hutchings said. Meanwhile, the Government was forced into a last-minute U-turn with restrictions in Bolton and Trafford earlier in the week. The two areas were due to be released on Wednesday from measures banning different households from meeting indoors or in gardens, along with Stockport, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees. However, Matt Hancock said the easing had been delayed 'following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days'. A ban on visiting other households has also been reimposed on Glasgow after a sharp rise in infections. 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