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Fears of local lockdown grow as Covid-19 spikes in Herts community

A spike in cases of Covid-19 in Hertfordshire is causing concern for the county council, with fears that a local lockdown might be necessary.

Cllr Tim Hutchings, the council's executive member for public health, said: "We can confirm there are a significant number of positive Covid-19 cases across the Dacorum area – with a specific rise of cases in Hemel Hempstead.

"Existing self-isolation and testing measures have not been effective at managing to contain this local outbreak among the original group of young people, 17 to 19 years old, in a small number of pubs and cafés in the Tring and Berkhamsted area.

"This has raised a few specific issues, including the importance of continuing to self-isolate if they are a known contact, even if they have recently tested negative.

"We now need all residents in Dacorum to pay really close attention to this serious issue of the spread of Covid-19 within the local community."

Hertfordshire County Council public health and Dacorum Borough Council are:

  • keeping a close watch on any new cases in the area and deciding whether to enact local powers, including an enforced local lockdown
  • adding "surge capacity" for contact tracing by environmental health officers for priority cases in addition to the National Test and Trace scheme
  • writing to the specific premises with linked cases and requesting they contact all known customers
  • notifying all cafés, pubs and restaurants in the borough of the imminent threat of a local lockdown if they do not stringently follow the existing guidance, especially to keep the contact details of all customers where required.

In addition, trading standards will be ramping up spot checks on licensed premises and Hertfordshire police will be using their enforcement powers at unlawful events .

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