How can the north of England hope to level up under lockdown restrictions? | Andy Burnham

The north-south divide is set to widen without a devolved, door-to-door, test, trace, isolate approach to Covid-19

A year that began with promises of levelling up the north is ending with fears of it being locked down. Covid-19 has already inflicted many cruelties on our country. One extra poisonous legacy might be to widen the north-south divide. It could render the government’s much-vaunted levelling-up vision as mission impossible.

As offices open and students return to schools, colleges and universities, positive cases are inevitably about to rise. On current government policy, that means large parts of the north will trigger the cases-per-population threshold and face prolonged restrictions or, worse, lockdown. This will shatter already fragile communities and economies.

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