Northampton could be in different position to rest of England by next week, warns council leader – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Northampton ‘could be in a different position to the rest of the country’ in terms of its coronavirus lockdown restrictions by the end of next week, according to the council leader.

During a press conference this afternoon (Friday, July 24), Northampton Borough Council leader Jonathan Nunn urged residents to listen and act on the new advice.

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Northampton Borough Council leader Jonathan Nunn

“I won’t shy from the fact that we could be in a different position to the rest of the country in terms of guidance by the end of next week,” he said.

“It’s down to us as a population to do something about it.”

A much younger age group seem to be most common positive cases such as women aged in their 20s and men in their 30s.

Around 4,000 leaflets have been handed out around Northampton explaining the new precautions while officials will also be at ‘key gathering areas’ like Abington Park over the weekend.

Cllr Nunn insisted the issue is ‘town-wide’ and not confined to certain areas after telling BBC Radio Northampton that Castle and Abington ward were of particular concern.

When asked if he is confident people will follow the new guidance, Cllr Nunn replied: “Nobody has more faith in people of Northampton than I do.

“We are at a fork. I am hopeful that people will follow the advice and we will not go towards the way of Leicester.”

Northamptonshire County Council director of public health Lucy Wightman said 120 tests have been carried out today, which is 20 higher than the county’s average.

She insisted Northampton is not in the same position as Leicester and Blackburn with Darwin, which have seen different levels of localised lockdowns.

“We still have the ability to turn this around and that’s why we need to engage with the community to help us,” she said.

“It’s very evident this has not gone away as a public health issue.”

A list of what the public should and should not do includes continuing to work from home, avoid using public transport or car sharing, avoid meeting anyone from outside your own household or ‘bubble’ in indoor spaces. Read more about the advice here.

The number of new reported Covid-19 cases in Northampton was around 23 per 100,000 of the population during the last seven days.

Leicester’s equivalent figure was around 140 when the city was ordered back into lockdown three and a half weeks ago.

When asked how long the Northampton-specific guidance will be in place, Ms Wightman said it will stay for as long as it is needed.

“Workplaces may be Covid-secure but people are gathering outside work time and that is something we need to make people understand,” she said.

“We want to make sure that socially we are still following the original guidelines and take measures outside workplaces.

“This won’t be a quick battle. There is an incubation period of 14 days so maybe we won’t see the results of our efforts over the last 24 or 48 hours for a few days.

“We are interviewing the last 50 positive cases to see where they have been and what they do so we can see where they might have contracted the virus.

“That will help us understand the reasons behind this spike.”