The decision to row back on the easing of lockdown came after the Prime Minister was shown data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday night which revealed a rise in Covid-19 infections.
But the ONS data was based on just 59 people testing positive out of 116,026 swab tests. The previous week, just 45 people tested positive out of 114,674, which meant the tipping point for a northern lockdown may have rested on only 14 extra positive tests.
The “Covid O” group of senior Cabinet ministers, along with Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, agreed the changes, including tightening restrictions for parts of northern England, on Thursday night.
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