Redbridge facing risk of local lockdown as Covid-19 infection rate exceeds Government’s ‘contain framework’

The coronavirus rate in Redbridge is now high enough that the borough should “consider a local lockdown”, according to a London-wide document.

The borough’s infection rate per 100,000 people was 55 last week, compared to an average of 21 across England.

London boroughs with a rate of more than 50 are considered “areas of intervention” under the Government’s “contain framework”.

This is according to a table titled “London region phased approach to outbreak response”, which has been published in reports by both Hackney and Barnet council.[https://www.barnet.gov.uk/sites/default/files/london_escalation_points.pdf]

Cllr Mark Santos, responsible for health, social care, mental health and ageing, said: “We’re closely monitoring the situation and have increased our communications and engagement with our communities here in Redbridge.

“We are consistently promoting the key messages to our residents the key ways to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus.

“If the situation worsens, we will act by following the national public health guidelines that other regions have had to implement.”

Redbridge Council did not respond to questions about whether it would adhere to the phased response published by other councils.

According to the document, London boroughs with infection rates of 25 per 100,000 should restrict religious gatherings and social contacts, while enforcing mandatory masks.

Cllr Santos added: “We currently have the highest infection rate in London. Therefore, our residents and visitors to the borough must remember the importance of staying 2m apart from people outside their household, regularly washing or sanitising their hands, and wearing a face-covering when around others they don’t live with. 

“They must also stay at home if they have Covid-19 symptoms until they can be tested. We’ve already stressed how vital it is to get additional testing capacity in the borough to the government.”

Earlier this month, Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal and Cllr Santos wrote to Matt Hancock calling for Ilford’s coronavirus test centre to reopen to walk-in appointments.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter