Leicester going back into lockdown has nothing to do with 5G
7 July 2020
What was claimed
Leicester is going back into lockdown soon after 5G was rolled out there.
5G coverage was available in Leicester by November 2019, months before Covid-19 was detected in the UK. 5G is not linked to cases of Covid-19. Leicester had some lockdown restrictions re-imposed because the number of cases there was increasing.
A post on Facebook has suggested that Covid-19 symptoms and 5G are related, and the evidence it gives for that is that Leicester has gone back into lockdown soon after 5G was rolled out there.
But that’s not true. Aside from the fact that 5G has nothing to do with the new coronavirus (as we have written manytimes), Leicester has had 5G coverage since at leastNovember 2019, some months before Covid-19 was first detected in the UK, and long before the city was put into a more restrictive lockdown for the second time.
Other cities, like Hull, Leeds and Newcastle, first got 5G more recently than Leicester, from at least December 2019, and these places aren’t currently going back into lockdown.
5G has been available in cities like London, Cardiff and Edinburgh since May 2019.
What’s happening in Leicester?
On 29 June 2020, Matt Hancock announced that because the number of Covid-19 cases had continued to rise in Leicester, while they had generally decreased in the rest of England, that the city and some surrounding areas would not be subject to the imminent relaxation of lockdown restrictions planned for the rest of England, and that some previously relaxed restrictions would be re-imposed.
Among the measures were that non-essential shops were asked to close from 30 June, and bars, restaurants and hairdressers would not be allowed to open from 4 July.
5G has nothing to do with the symptoms of Covid-19. Covid-19 is a disease caused by a virus, called SARS-CoV-2. Scientists have been studying the disease and its cause for several months now, and have sequenced the genetic material of the virus.
Like the previous generations of wireless network technology before it (4G, 3G and 2G), 5G mobile data is transmitted over radio waves. Radio waves are found at the low-frequency end of the spectrum and—alongside microwaves, visible light and heat—are what’s known as “non-ionising” radiation. This means that these waves cannot damage the DNA inside cells, which is how waves with higher frequencies (such as x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet light) are thought to cause cancer.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.
For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because 5G is not linked to Covid-19 and Leicester did not get 5G coverage that recently.
Correction 9 July 2020
We've corrected a typo which said that 5G has nothing to do with the symptoms of 5G. It has nothing to do with the symptoms of Covid-19.
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We’ve seen people claiming to be health professionals, family members, and even the government – offering dangerous tips like drinking warm water or gargling to prevent infection. Neither of these will work.
The longer claims like these go unchecked, the more they are repeated and believed. It can put people’s health at serious risk, when our services are already under pressure.
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