Councils in north-west London said they would rely on further guidance from central Government if they were to implement local lockdowns.

Harrow Council and Brent Council have both produced outbreak control plans for Covid-19, which cover how to manage the situation in schools, care homes and other vulnerable areas.

They also include a wider engagement with residents to help combat the spread of the virus and measures to tackle this in other ‘high risk’ settings such as places of worship and factories.

However, they said they would need more information from the Department of Health in terms of putting local lockdown measures in place.

In Harrow’s plan, for example, the council called for more detail on the governance of a local lockdown, what rules would be put in place, when it would be implemented and what the recovery process would be.

It comes after Dr Melanie Smith, director of public health at Brent Council, said she “couldn’t see how (it) would shut down a defined geographic area”.

She explained that, while it is possible to enforce the closure of businesses or parks, it would be difficult to put measures across a wider region.

Dr Smith added that, while testing has been “a bit of a success story”, she has “some concerns” around the possible spread in workplaces.

This is because the council relies on the ‘test and trace’ system to ensure it is targeted and contained.

To address this, she said the council is stressing the importance of “following up on testing” by encouraging those with positive results to self-isolate and reach out to those they have had contact with.

The first local lockdown came into effect in Leicester earlier this week.

As a result, non-essential shops that reopened on June 15 have been asked to close, schools are shut except to vulnerable children and those of key workers, and bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not open on Saturday (July 4).

While people were encouraged to avoid travelling in and out of the lockdown area – and advised to stay at home as much as possible – single-adult households can still form a support bubble with others.

And people in groups of up to six can still meet outdoors provided social distancing measures are observed.

Earlier this week Harrow and Brent Councils said there was “nothing to suggest” their boroughs could be put into a local lockdown.

This was in response to reports that they could be among those forced to implement stricter measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

However, they both stressed the importance of following government and public health guidance, including regular hand washing and limiting contact with others.

As of yesterday (July 1) Harrow and Brent have both had more than 1,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with Brent (1,510) the second highest in London behind Croydon.

And in terms of rate per 100,000 residents, Brent and Harrow occupy the top two spots in London, with 457 and 421 cases, respectively.