Working from home could be keeping Covid-19 at bay – for proof, look at London | Richard Harris and James Cheshire

Unlike the rest of the UK, the capital is dominated by white-collar work that can be done away from the office

With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing across the country, regional inequalities in lab-confirmed cases have remained stark. Currently, the rate is highest in the north-west (at 824.7 per 100,000 population), Yorkshire and the Humber (726.9), the north-east (689) and West Midlands (576.5). For London, the rate is lower, at 481.9.

This is curious because the population density of the capital is more than 10 times greater than other regions – ideal for a virus that spreads fastest between people who are close together. It is also a reversal of an earlier trend – up until mid-April, London had the highest fatality rate of any region. Why is the capital now doing better at containing the disease while places including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Preston and Rochdale have faced greater restrictions and local lockdowns?

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