WHOLE towns and cities could be tested for coronavirus to stop local hotspots blowing up into a national outbreak.
Ministers are considering the move after chief medical officer Chris Whitty warned a second wave was a “real possibility”.
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A source said the policy may be the right thing to stop local outbreaks coalescing to become “out of control nationally”.
Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said social distancing should keep Covid under control but warned: “We will see local outbreaks.”
He told Friday night’s No10 press conference: “This isn’t something that has gone away.
“It is something that has been suppressed and we need to try and keep it suppressed by living with the rules for a more Covid-safe world.”
He said: “The same has been true in other countries.”
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PM Boris Johnson said another national lockdown was “the response of last resort”.
Meanwhile, the R rate, which shows how many people each infected person passes the bug on to, has risen in parts of England and may be 1.1 in London and 1 in the Midlands, North East and South.
It is between 0.7 and 0.9 as a whole for the UK, experts said.
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