COVID-19 chaos continues, now with local restrictions. Few people know which areas are affected, what is restricted, and most importantly why.

Boris Johnson showed that he hasn’t got a clue, “misspeaking” when quizzed last week about details. Is there a strategy behind this, or is it worked out on the back of a fag packet?

The latest NHS infection figures put both Darlington and Middlesbrough on a similar rate, but one is restricted and the other not.

They are both much higher than County Durham.

Restrictions, widely accepted in March, lost public support after Dominic Cummings’ defiant Durham April jaunt.

Since then it’s all been confusion and a failing test and trace system.

The government must get a grip; it can only attack the epidemic effectively by winning public confidence and by working closely with local councils.

The two aims must be to reduce transmission and to test, then trace and isolate the carriers.

The highly centralised “world-beating” test and trace system, run by expensive private consultants, has failed.

The government must work locally, expanding systems that do work.

Then we might see a route back to normality. Can the current cabinet of all the talentless achieve that?

Phil Hunt, Barningham.