Managing Local Outbreaks

The Government has published guidance on a five stage process by which local outbreaks will be managed in future. The five stages are:

  • Monitoring

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and Public Health England (PHE) share local coronavirus data with directors of public health in local authorities so they can monitor what is happening in their area.

  • Engagement and communication

If monitoring suggests that there are problems at a local level, the JBC and PHE will engage the relevant local authority to generate a joint understanding of the problem and develop solutions.

  • Testing

Mass testing will be undertaken at a local level, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace, to control the virus.

  • Local restrictions

If the virus continues to spread, either a local authority or the government will restrict activities at particular locations and close individual premises.

  • National intervention

If the previous measures have not worked the government will put in place further measures which could include shutting businesses venues that would otherwise be allowed to open, closing schools, and asking people to stay at home or restrict their movement. These measures will be tailored to the circumstances of each outbreak and will be reviewed at least every 2 weeks.

Click here to find out more about the process.

As an example of this approach, Oldham Council has just introduced local restrictions in response to a local pike in cases.

Reporting Outbreaks

Public Health England have launched a campaign to that provides advice to businesses on how to identify and respond to a local coronavirus outbreak. The campaign seeks to help business operators:

  • Identify an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation)

  • Report the outbreak to local health protection team

  • Work with local health protection team to respond

As part of the campaign, PHE have produced a series of different action cards for different business types, you can download them here -


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