BORIS Johnson says THIRTY towns are at risk of local lockdown – but insisted coronavirus is "under control".
It comes after the Prime Minister today defended his Government after it was revealed England has the highest number of excess deaths in Europe.
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Mr Johnson said the virus is "bubbling up" in around 30 towns across Britain – and said "tough lockdowns" could be put in place.
But he told Brits there has been "massive success" in reducing cases across the country.
It comes as:
- Brits with coronavirus symptoms will be forced to self-isolate for ten days instead of seven to halt an infection surge
- Boris Johnson was urged to "keep calm" over fears of a second wave or risk destroying the economy
- Belgium and Luxembourg will be axed from the UK's safe travel list within days, The Sun revealed last night
- The Government initially refused to release the UK's new death toll – before performing a U-turn this evening
- Thousands of Brits tested for coronavirus with swabs could have received false negatives
Speaking in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, he told Sky News: "There are between ten and 30 places where you are seeing it bubbling up a little bit.
"I think the country as a whole understands that the best way to deal with this is if we have tough local lockdowns to get it under control in those towns."
He added that levels of the virus are falling amid a "huge effort" in Leicester – the first city subject to a localised lockdown – but Brits must not "delude" themselves that "somehow we're out of the woods".
"It is absolutely vital that as a country we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don't delude ourselves that somehow we're out of the woods or that this is all over, because it isn't all over," he said.
"The most important thing we can do is stop a second wave, a really damaging second wave, which will have real consequences."
'THIS ISN'T ALL OVER'
People living in Leicester are this evening awaiting a decision on whether their extended lockdown will be lifted.
It comes as new figures released today show England had the highest number of excess deaths in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The PM said: "We mourn every loss of life that we've had throughout the coronavirus epidemic.
"What I would say to them (families of the deceased) is that we really owe it to them to continue our work in driving the virus down.
"Clearly this country has had a massive success now in reducing the numbers of those tragic deaths.
"We've got it at the moment under some measure of control. The numbers of deaths are well, well down.
"But I have to tell you that we're looking at a resurgence of the virus in some other European countries."
Blackburn with Darwen, Leicester, Oldham, Bradford and Trafford are the places with the highest rates of the virus per 100,000 people.
By the week ending May 29, England had a relative cumulative age-standardised mortality rate of 7.55% – meaning it was 7.55% higher than the average mortality rate between 2015 and 2019.
Although Spain had the biggest spike in excess mortality – deaths from all causes, not just coronavirus, above the five year average – England has had the longest continuous period with more deaths than usual.
The UK's daily coronavirus death toll rose by 38 to 45,999 today.
And worrying data shows the number of new Covid-19 infections has risen by more than a third in just two days.
In total, 846 people have tested positive in the 24 hours to 9am today.
The number is up from 763 yesterday. On Tuesday, 581 cases were identified.
It means 737 Britons are being diagnosed with the disease every 24 hours, on average — the highest level since July 3, when the average stood at 749.
But there's better news in Leicester, where the PM says levels of coronavirus are "going down".
However, Brits should be wary of a "really damaging second wave", he stressed.
"It's absolutely vital as a country we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don't delude ourselves that somehow we're out of the woods or that this is all over because it isn't all over," he warned.
Meanwhile, Matt Hancock has denied the Government is pushing "hysteria" and insisted a second wave of coronavirus is rolling across Europe.
The under-fire Health Secretary this morning expressed concerns over the number of cases in not just Europe but across the globe.
He was quickly blasted for scaremongering, with senior MPs accusing him of acting like the “Grim Reaper”.
They urged him to to use a “stiletto not a sledgehammer” to tackle fresh Covid outbreaks.
Appearing on Sky News, Mr Hancock vowed to do whatever it takes to stop the virus peaking again in Britain.
He said: "I am worried about a second wave.
"You can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe."
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