Poor areas of England face ‘permanent’ lockdown, says public health chief

Posted: November 23rd 2020


Let’s not forget some of the areas pertinent to the theme in this article are rural. It tells us:

Some of England’s poorest areas face being trapped in coronavirus restrictions “permanently” unless the government tackles deep-rooted inequalities that are driving high transmission, according to a public health chief.

Prof Dominic Harrison, the director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen council, said the government’s “pointlessly punishing” approach would keep areas such as his under strict measures up to next summer.

He told the Guardian: “We do need the restrictions, but what we need is something that is going to be more effective, more helpful, less pointlessly punishing than continued controls that aren’t going to be effective, or that are unlikely to be effective in the medium term and cause continued and further economic damage.”

Boris Johnson is expected to announce the planned route out of England’s national lockdown next week. The lockdown is due to end on 2 December. Areas with the highest infection rates are expected to remain in the highest tier of restrictions, meaning the continued closure of non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants.

Blackburn has had more coronavirus cases relative to its population than any other part of the UK, despite having been under various forms of local restrictions since July. The Lancashire town has recorded 5,833 cases per 100,000 people since March. The next highest rates are in Oldham (5,667), Manchester (5,205) and Rochdale (5,078).