Coronavirus: Update on England's local lockdowns due

Leicester has been under lockdown following an increase in coronavirus cases. Credit: PA

The Government is expected to provide an update regarding local lockdown measures in the North West of England and Leicester later on Friday.

Measures banning different households meeting were due for review on Thursday, a week after they were brought in for residents in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, as well as Leicester.

Meanwhile the Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned the UK will not hesitate to impose quarantine restrictions on those returning from France should the scientific advice show "it's the right thing to do".

In Preston, local leaders warned it could become the latest area to face a Government intervention, amid rising infection rates in the Lancashire city.

The rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Preston has risen from 20.3 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 27 to 32.8 in the seven days to August 3. A total of 47 new cases have been recorded.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, the director of public health at Lancashire County Council, said the city had taken action ahead of an expected announcement by the Government and Public Health England on Friday.

A billboard in Manchester promoting the guidelines on wearing masks Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

He said: "We're not waiting for others to tell us what to do here in Preston, we've already activated our plans, making more tests available and asking people to avoid social contacts."

In Blackburn with Darwen, the rate has fallen from 88.8 cases per 100,000 people to 82.2, with 123 new cases. Oldham is in second place, where the seven-day rate has jumped from 55.7 to 67.9, with 161 new cases, while Pendle is third, where the rate has risen from 46.7 to 58.6, with 54 new cases.

The rate in Leicester continues to fall, down from 62.4 to 52.2, with 185 new cases.

Meanwhile Rishi Sunak refused to rule out imposing quarantine restrictions on those returning from France.

There are fears France could be added the the UK quarantine list. Credit: PA

Figures show France recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than two months.

He told Sky News: "It's a tricky situation. What I can say to people is we're in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.

"It's the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you've seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that, and we're doing that to protect people's health."

The French health authority - Sante Publique France - reported cases of Covid-19 are up by a third (33%) in the week to August 6, and infection rates are increasing in all age groups, particularly 20 to 30-year-olds.

It comes after quarantine measures were announced for travellers arriving into the UK from Belgium, Andorra and The Bahamas - with Britons advised against all but essential travel to the three countries.

The restrictions - which mean those arriving will have to self-isolate for 14 days - came into force at midnight in Wales, with the same rules applying in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4am on Saturday.