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1: Our understanding of the epidemiology of coronavirus and intelligence on where it is spreading has vastly improved. This means we can control it through targeted, local action.
2: This work is led by NHS Test and Trace in England. Our approach is already working.

In Weston-super-Mare and Kirklees, we took swift and successful action to contain outbreaks at specific premises.
3: In Bradford and Blackburn with Darwen, we identified troubling trends in the data and worked closely with the respective local authorities to increase testing and take targeted action. That work continues.
4: In Leicester, we instituted a local lockdown in order to bear down on stubborn rates of infection. We will begin to relax the restrictions there next week. We can do so because the data is improving.
5: From today, local authorities will have new powers in their areas, to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces, and cancel events.

This will enable them to act more quickly in response to outbreaks, where speed is paramount.
6: Action by local councils will not always be sufficient, so next week we will publish draft regulations explaining how central government can intervene at a local level.
7: Where justified by evidence, ministers will be able to close whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local stay at home orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce maximum gathering size, or restrict transport systems serving local areas.
8: I know that it will be hard going for people affected by these local measures. It isn’t easy, and for some it may seem unjust that people just a short distance away can live their lives closer to normal.
9: But it has to be right that we take local action in response to local outbreaks - there is no point shutting down a city in one part of the country to contain an outbreak in another part of the country.
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