More areas of the country will move from local COVID alert level ‘medium’ to local COVID alert level ‘high’ from 00.01 Saturday 31 October.

Government have had close discussions with local leaders, and decided the following areas will move from local COVID alert leve ‘medium’ to local COVID alert level ‘high’ from 00.01 on Saturday 31 October.

Yorkshire and the Humber:
East Riding of Yorkshire
North East Lincolnshire
North Lincolnshire

West Midlands:
Telford and Wrekin

East Midlands:
Amber Valley
Derbyshire Dales
Derby City
South Derbyshire
High Peak (whole of)

East of England:

South East:
Oxford City

This means that for these areas, the following measures will be in place:

people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
people must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space
people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
These measures will be reviewed every 14 days to consider whether they are still appropriate.

The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK. The weekly case rate in England stood at 201 people per 100,000 from 15 October to 21 October, up from 100 people per 100,000 for the week 25 September to 1 October. Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We continue to see a worrying rise in cases right across the country, and it is clear decisive action is needed.

We have agreed with local leaders to move more areas into the high local COVID alert level this week.

These restrictions are challenging for us all, but it is only by working together and following the rules that we will bring down the rates of infection. A failure to act now will only lead to longer disruption and greater economic damage. I want to thank everyone who is playing their part to break the chains of transmission across the country. We will beat this virus, but we must stick together as we enter the winter months.

It has been agreed that all other areas currently in high will remain at this level until the next review.

All available data for the areas has been assessed by the government, including the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE), the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office. Data assessed includes incidence, test positivity and the growth rate of the virus.

It is essential that outbreaks are contained to protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future. The country faces a new challenge as winter approaches, and even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of long COVID.

The government’s strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available.

Local action is at the centre of the government’s response, and engagement with local authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.

See more information on what ‘high’ local COVID alert level means for your area.

East of England
In Luton, weekly case rates stand at 156 people per 100,000. This increases to 222 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 108 per 100,000 in the over-60s.