Where are the UK's most recent coronavirus outbreaks?

Victoria Bell
·5-min read
Colour photograph of trees and houses in Ironbridge a settlement on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire, England.
Officials believe that there may be a new outbreak of coronavirus in Shropshire after 21 people tested positive in the town. (Getty)

A number of local coronavirus outbreaks have been identified since some lockdown restrictions were eased across the UK.

A watchlist of local councils that forms part of a weekly report of coronavirus infections by Public Health England (PHE) helps the government track spikes in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The government’s strategy is now to use “local interventions” to target the worst-affected areas, bringing in localised restrictions to curb the spread of the virus and prevent the whole country from going back into lockdown.

Leicester was the first city subjected to a local lockdown after a spike in cases, on 29 June.

Here, we take a look at where we’ve seen new coronavirus outbreaks in recent weeks.

Staff work at a the COVID-19 testing facility at Ikea near the Wembley stadium in London, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Coronavirus testing is now available for more people in England from Wednesday as the government relaxed rules on eligibility. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Staff work at a COVID-19 testing facility at Ikea near Wembley stadium in London. (AP)

Shropshire

There has been a fresh outbreak of coronavirus in Shropshire after 21 people tested positive at a caravan park.

Shropshire Council said 41 people have been tested overall and that contact tracing is being carried out.

The council fears the number of cases at the site, which is in the town of Craven Arms, will continue to rise before infection control measures start to take effect.

The 21 people who tested positive for coronavirus were asked to self-isolate for at least seven days from the time they started showing symptoms or from when they received their positive test result.

A testing centre has been set up nearby the park, and everyone living on the caravan site has been offered a test.

The centre will be open for the next two weeks between 10.30am and 3.30pm and those living nearby can book a test online via NHS Test and Trace or by ringing 119.

Councillor David Evans said: “Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our local residents.

“I’ve been in Craven Arms to talk to residents and businesses to answer any questions and reassure them that the risk to the general public is low.”

He added: “I would like to thank members of the community for their own ongoing support and cooperation.

“We continue to rely on everyone at the site playing their part, and want to encourage the residents to continue to self-isolate and take all the necessary precautions.

“This is the only way we can help stop the spread of the virus.”

Weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases in England.
Weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases in England, in the seven days to 21 July.

Blackburn with Darwen

59 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Lancashire last week, according to PHE data.

23 of those cases were recorded in Blackburn with Darwen, 10 in Hyndburn and nine in Pendle. All three remain “areas of national intervention” – the highest level on the PHE watchlist – due to their high infection rate.

Despite measures easing across England this weekend, gyms and leisure centres remain closed in the area.

A mobile testing centre at Witton Park High School in Blackburn and Darwen, as the town is facing a "rising tide" of coronavirus cases, centered on its large Asian community.
A mobile testing centre at Witton Park High School in Blackburn and Darwen. (PA)

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New measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Blackburn with Darwen have already been introduced.

They include tighter limits on visitors from another household, while people are also urged to bump elbows in place of handshakes and hugs.

Luton

Luton, Bedfordshire, was also made an area of intervention after a spike in coronavirus cases.

This also means plans to open indoor gyms and leisure centres for locals has been put on hold.

The council set up an emergency testing centre at a primary school and is telling people to stay home as it tries to prevent a further spread of COVID-19.

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The rate of cases in Luton fell to 24.8 per 100,000 in the week to 20 July from 31.8 per 100,000 in the week to 13 July.

Herefordshire

200 workers were told to self-isolate on a farm in Herefordshire on 12 July after 73 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Vegetable producers A S Green and Co went into lockdown after the positive tests.

Workers were segregated into mobile homes and food and other essential supplies had to be delivered to the farm.

Herefordshire Council, which organised the supply of deliveries, said the outbreak was "contained" on the farm.

Contractors in PPE, waiting to go onsite, outside Rook Row Farm in Mathon, near Malvern, Herefordshire, where there have been 73 positive cases of coronavirus confirmed.
Contractors in PPE wait to go on site at the farm in Herefordshire after 73 positive cases of coronavirus confirmed. (PA)

A spokesman for AS Green and Co, which specialises in growing beans, said its “hard-working” staff were the firm’s “priority” as it was supported by PHE and Herefordshire Council.

“We contacted PHE and we are working closely with them and Public Health at Herefordshire Council to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

As of 24 July, the total number of positive cases linked to the outbreak is 134. Regular testing continues, according to Herefordshire.gov.uk.

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