FIVE virus hot spots could lead to a third Covid wave experts fear – as the Midlands and West Yorkshire have seen a surge in infections.
There are still virus hotspots across the country and rushing into the easing of lockdown may trigger rising infections, scientists have warned.
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Virus hotspots could lead to a rise in Covid infections, scientists warnCredit: Eyevine
The average number of cases per 100,000 people is 30.7 across the whole of the UK – but local authority areas, including Wakefield, Mansfield, Barnsley, Corby and Clackmannanshire, have triple that number.
And a total of 28 areas have double the UK’s average infection rate.
Stephen Griffin, of Leeds University medical school, told the Observer: “There are areas in West Yorkshire, the Black Country and other regions that still have high infection rates.
“However, many people there cannot afford to self-isolate.
“We need to tackle that issue urgently or the virus will come back again.”
He added that the Government’s promise to follow “data not dates” now appears to have been abandoned.
Griffin added: “They are saying one thing and doing another – again.
“There are far too many virus hotspots and not enough attention being paid to controlling infections that might spread from them.”
Professor Lawrence Young of Warwick medical school said: “The test, trace and isolate system that is supposed to contain outbreaks has not worked well, and even when people test positive, they are not isolating.
“We need a properly funded system for quarantining infected people.
“We don’t have that and that raises the risk we could head back into trouble again quite quickly.”
Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown continues apace – and he has revealed the next steps towards freedom.
The next stage of unlocking is due to take place on April 12, when non-essential shops and hairdressers will be able to open their doors.
Pubs and restaurants with outdoor space will also be able to open to punters.
And it’s been revealed that every pub-goer must check-in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint from April 12.
Under the new rules, all punters must be contact-traced via the app or by giving their contact details when a group enters a pub or restaurant.
All drinkers must scan their NHS app when they go to a boozer, which means it’ll be possible to tell them to book a test immediately if they sit near someone who has Covid.
The PM has ditched hates rules like the 10pm curfew and the facial substantial meal requirement that saw diners forced to order Scotch eggs and bowls of chips with their pints.
But social distancing measures will still have to remain in place, meaning pubs will be table service only and groups will be capped at a maximum of six people.
When Mr Johnson first announced his “cautious but irreversible” roadmap, he revealed all non-essential retail – including clothing shops, homeware stores and market stalls – can open from April 12 if cases are still being forced down.