Over the past few weeks, the UK government has gradually eased national lockdown measures. As the economy reopens, and people return to workplaces and spend more time in shops, pubs and restaurants, the number of contacts an individual has with other people will inevitably increase.
Since then, there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases following the lowest recorded estimate in June, as well as spikes in transmission in certain areas. In response, rather than locking down the whole country again, the government has brought in local lockdowns in affected areas.
National lockdown has a significant indirect effect on people’s health: fewer people go to hospital emergency departments when needed and vaccination and cancer screening programmes are delayed. Local lockdowns, therefore, aim to control the spread of the virus in a specific area in response to a local spike of infections. They may be the best option we have for managing the pandemic prior to a vaccine becoming available.
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