Oldham in Greater Manchester is the latest UK area to impose a local lockdown

(Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)(Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

With coronavirus case numbers rising on the continent, fears of a so-called 'second wave' of Covid-19 are growing.

Closer to home, a number of localised outbreaks have led to the reimposition of lockdown rules in places like Leicester in recent weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now, an increase in cases in Oldham has led to some restrictions being tightened there, though the council are keen to stress the measures are designed to avoid a ‘strict’ local lockdown like the one seen in Leicester.

Here's everything you need to know.

What are the new measures in Oldham?

In Oldham, residents are advised not to allow social visitors beyond those in their support bubble to their properties. People are also being reminded to stay two metres apart when outside or in public spaces.

Clinically vulnerable people in the area who are shielding are being told to continue to do so until 14 August.

Care homes which had originally planned to relax their restrictions on visitations will now no longer do so.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Arooj Shah, Oldham Council's deputy leader, said the best way to avoid infection is to "limit contact with others as much as possible and to stay home wherever you can, including working from home."

“We know that people across Oldham desperately want to see their friends and family, and get back to normal,” she added.

“But these restrictions are essential if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus and prevent a strict local lockdown being put in place, as we have seen elsewhere in the country.”

How many cases are there in Oldham?

Oldham had been touted as the potential location of another local lockdown in recent weeks, and was included on Public Health England's (PHE) area of concern watchlist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The town had actually been removed from that list on 23 July, but data published on the evening of 28 July showed another spike in cases.

A total of 119 new cases were recorded in the week prior to 24 July, which equates to more than 50 infections per 100,000 members of the population, and an increase of 358 per cent on the previous seven days.

Why are cases in Oldham increasing?

Officials said a significant proportion of recent cases in the town involved multiple individuals testing positive within a single household. This suggests that household spread is a real issue, especially in households with large families.

Two-thirds of the new cases were in the town’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, the council said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Oldham's reintroduction of measures follows similar moves in Rochdale, Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle in Lancashire, and Wakefield.

It seems that infections have been increasing in former industrial towns, which often have a high concentration of cramped terraced housing, multi-generational households and high levels of deprivation.

Where is Oldham?

Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester roughly five miles southeast of Rochdale and seven miles northeast of Manchester.

It is the administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, which had a population of 230,800 in 2015.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Where else could see local lockdowns?

Oldham currently has England's third highest rate of new cases per 100,000 people for the week, so it's highly likely similar measures could be taken in other areas.

Blackburn with Darwen recorded 77.2 cases per 100,000 population in the week to 24 July, followed by Leicester with 61.9 - both of these areas already have their own local measures imposed.

Bradford is fourth with 46.4 per 100,000, and Hyndburn in Lancashire is fifth with 39.6 per 100,000.