“Postcode lockdowns” could continue to be implemented to tackle mutant Covid variants even as national restrictions are set to ease, it has been reported.
However, under reported plans being developed, local shutdowns would continue to be implemented to try and curb the spread of new coronavirus strains.
This would be carried out along with surge testing and detailed tracing to identify any cases of new strains to wipe them out early, The Times reports.
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“Senior government sources” are reported to have told the newspaper that Downing Street was aware there might still be the need for localised restrictions.
One source is reported to have said: “Clearly it is not a problem at the moment because of the existing lockdown restrictions.
“But there is a big question about what you do when lockdown does start lifting and we see variants that we have concerns about.
“It is definitely something that we’re aware of that will need to be considered. But we need to work out exactly what the mechanisms are that we need to have in place.”
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Another source was reported to have said it was possible a decision on handling local restrictions would be made in time for Monday’s announcement.
The paper reports that the exact local restrictions could vary according to the level of risk from particular variants.
It comes as the UK is now grappling with the emergence of yet another new strain of coronavirus, as officials confirmed a Nigerian variant has arrived.
Four new areas were set to be given door-to-door coronavirus surge testing to help control and suppress the spread of a Covid variant.
More areas in Greater Manchester along with postcodes in Norfolk, Southampton and Surrey will get surge testing in addition to existing extensive testing.
Ahead of Monday’s expected roadmap announcement Boris Johnson has stopped short of vowing England’s third lockdown would be its last because of the ongoing mutations.
The Prime Minister warned that the mutations meant that he could not promise never to tighten restrictions again, as he works on the roadmap.