UK virus watchlist has six new places added as ‘areas of concern’ with 2 removed

UK virus watchlist has six new places added as ‘areas of concern’ with 2 removed
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Six new areas will be added to the government’s coronavirus watchlist.

Barrow-in-Furness, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Wakefield, Rotherham and Luton are to be listed as areas of concern.

The Bedfordshire town is returning to the list after earlier local restrictions successfully drove down infections and saw it taken off.

The changes announced by the Government mean there are now 96 places on the watchlist in England, up four from 92 last week.

Meanwhile Hertsmere, Hertfordshire, and Spelthorne in Surrey will be removed.



Chester is the latest city in the North West to be added to the watchlist

Sheffield is to be escalated to an “area of enhanced support” while Blaby, Leics, is to be taken down merely to an “area of concern” again.

Areas of concern do not get local lockdown rules immediately but are flagged on the watchlist to ensure they get extra testing capacity and are more closely monitored.

Areas for enhanced support are those at a medium-high risk of intervention where there is a more detailed plan, agreed with the national authorities.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our strategy is to suppress the virus, protecting the economy, education, and the NHS, until a vaccine can make us safe.

“I understand how much of an imposition these new measures are. I want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible. I am sure we all do.

“The more people follow the rules and reduce their social contact, the quicker we can get Liverpool, and the North East, back on their feet.”



Chester has now followed near neighbours Liverpool and Manchester onto the list



Barrow in Furness has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic

Earlier the Health Secretary announced strict new coronavirus rules in Liverpool, Warrington, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.

People there have been advised against all but essential travel and banned from meeting family or friends indoors, which is enforceable by law.

Meanwhile, Bolton’s pubs and restaurants have been given the green light to reopen after being made takeaway only as part of local lockdown measures.

Full list of 92 areas on watchlist

Areas of intervention

  • Bolton
  • Rossendale
  • Hyndburn
  • Preston
  • Liverpool
  • Bury
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Halton
  • Burnley
  • Oldham
  • South Tyneside
  • Knowsley
  • Manchester
  • Wirral
  • Salford
  • Rochdale
  • Tameside
  • Bradford
  • St. Helens
  • Pendle
  • Warrington
  • Oadby and Wigston
  • Gateshead
  • Leicester
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Sefton
  • Leeds
  • Sunderland
  • Birmingham
  • Wigan
  • Kirklees
  • Solihull
  • North Tyneside
  • Sandwell
  • Blackpool
  • Stockport
  • Trafford
  • Wyre
  • West Lancashire
  • Calderdale
  • Northumberland
  • Wolverhampton
  • Fylde
  • Chorley
  • South Ribble
  • County Durham
  • Ribble Valley
  • Lancaster
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough

Areas of enhanced support

  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Darlington
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Sheffield


Barrow in Furness had a large outbreak earlier in the pandemic and cases have surged again

Areas of concern

  • Selby
  • Blaby
  • Redbridge
  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Havering
  • Waltham Forest
  • Newham
  • Hounslow
  • Scarborough
  • Haringey
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Hackney
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Hillingdon
  • Enfield
  • Harrow
  • Southwark
  • Islington
  • Ealing
  • Camden
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Brent
  • Lewisham
  • Barnet
  • Greenwich
  • Lambeth
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster
  • Merton
  • Sutton
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • City of London
  • Bromley
  • Bexley
  • Croydon
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Luton
  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Cheshire East
  • Rotherham
  • Wakefield

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