September 18, 2020 4.01 pm This story is over 15 months old

Lincolnshire lockdown unlikely as noose tightens around it

Extra restrictions brought in parts of England

Health bosses in Lincolnshire “can’t see” the county going into local lockdown at this stage, as other areas face tighter restrictions.

However, Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Professor Derek Ward said a temporary national rule tightening – referred to as a two-week “circuit break” – might be sensible.

North-east England faces local lockdown rules which came into force on Friday. On the same day, it was announced that Lancashire, Merseyside, the Midlands and West Yorkshire would also face further restrictions, banning separate households from meeting each other at home or in private gardens.

North Lincolnshire health bosses on Thursday warned that if people did not adhere to social guidelines in the face of spiking numbers they too could face further restrictions.

On Friday, BBC News also reported new England-wide measures could be considered, including limiting pub and restaurant opening hours — however schools and workplaces would remain open.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would be a “last line of defence” as government advisors predicted another major outbreak.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Professor Ward said: “While [Lincolnshire cases] did go up at the beginning of September, spikes were everywhere else in the country too.

“If you look at our data compared to the rest of the region, our rate per 100,000 population is still the second lowest after Rutland.

“So, I can’t see Lincolnshire going into a local lockdown unless local means East Midlands, and [the region] isn’t particularly high compared to the north-west, north-east and other places which are starting to see increases.”

He said national data later today would give a clearer picture. In response to national measures he said: “You’re actually better putting the brakes on nationally for a short period of time, so that we flatten the curve as we go.

“Then you can take the brakes off, but maybe keep them on in those places that are still going up faster.

“That sounds sensible to me depending upon the restrictions, because the more we can do to flatten the curve, the better.

“We know from our first experience that if we delay, the numbers get away from us quite quickly.”

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