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UK health secretary not ruling out NEW level of Covid-19 restrictions as cases continue to surge

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Signs of the testing centre for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside of the Keele University campus in Staffordshire. © Reuters / Carl Recine
England’s coronavirus Test and Trace service falls short of target again, in new record low

Along with the new restrictions, Hancock said the UK government is looking at reducing the amount of time people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive have to isolate if they do not show symptoms. In England, you would currently have to isolate for 14 days. The health secretary is consulting “clinical science” over whether it should be reduced to seven days.

England currently has a three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions depending on the local infection rate, ranging from medium to very high. Extra measures could currently be introduced for individual areas if the transmission rates are not slowed by the implementation of the strictest set of rules.

The comments come as Lancashire, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, and South Yorkshire are stuck in tier-three lockdowns with hundreds of thousands of people elsewhere in the country preparing to face similar restrictions and talks continue between the government and local councils. The increase in the number of areas currently with the strictest measures could come as early as Wednesday.

The UK has recorded 19,790 new coronavirus cases and 151 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to data released by the Health Department. Figures released by the nation’s statistics agencies show that over 59,000 deaths in the UK have been linked to coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

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