Exeter local lockdown ruled out by Devon public health boss

Devon's Director of Public Health has ruled out a local lockdown in Exeter.

A local lockdown in Exeter has been ruled out by Devon’s public health director.

Dr Virginia Pearson has stated the city is not yet facing tougher restrictions - despite a recent rise of coronavirus cases.

Exeter has now been propelled into the top 10 areas of England with positive cases of Covid-19.

It comes after figures published on 7 October showed a rise in cases from 127 to 223.

A number of students at the University of Exeter have tested positive for coronavirus.

The majority of those cases are linked to the University of Exeter, which imposed restrictions on students - banning them from mixing indoors with other households - last week.

Dr Pearson, who is the Director of Public Health for Devon, said the spike is not “unexpected”.

“Exeter has seen a recent sharp spike in cases, most of which are in the university student population,” she said.

The outbreak is currently contained, and so Exeter is not in the territory for broad lockdown within the city at this time. What’s happening in Exeter is not unexpected and has been planned for. Exeter is now experiencing what is being seen elsewhere in universities across the country.

Dr Virginia Pearson

The university says it is continuing to assess the situation on a daily basis, and is working closely with Public Health England and other agencies to identify cases and limit the spread.

“The county of Devon has been very successful so far in keeping the number of confirmed cases low, with levels remaining quite steady despite the cases in Exeter,” Dr Pearson continued.

Exeter students were pictured gathering after a socially-distanced event on campus in September.

“However, it is a changing situation and we cannot for one moment become complacent.

“Now is the time for renewed effort by all of us to make sure that we follow the guidance. To avoid far tighter restrictions on our movements, we must all play our part.”


  • keep a safe distance from others, 2 metres is preferable

  • wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water and use hand sanitiser where it is provided

  • wear a face covering when indoors in public spaces with other people from outside your household or bubble; and when in enclosed public spaces such as on public transport

Read more: