Fact check: Local lockdown in Leicester is not connected to the roll-out of 5G

A Facebook post with hundreds of shares and reactions has falsely linked the release of 5G technology in Leicester to the city’s localised lockdown.

A woman walks past an NHS alert message, following a local lockdown imposed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Leicester, Britain, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

The post, shared on June 29 (here), said: “Looks like Leicester will be the guinea pigs of 5G. A REAL second wave. 5G turned on in Leicester and it has been shut down for Covid! Wake up world! May the God's have mercy on those living in Leicester! It won't stop there though. Your city will be next.” Other social media posts linking the technology with the spike of virus cases in the city can be seen here and here .

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced this week that lockdown restrictions would be reinstated in Leicester after a rise in new coronavirus cases. The city’s cases accounted for 10% of all domestic COVID-19 infections recorded in the last week, he said (here).

Reuters has previously debunked claims that COVID-19 is connected to 5G and suggestions that the former is a coverup for alleged health concerns of the latter (here , here , here).

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus which is transmitted from person-to-person primarily via respiratory droplets (here).

Meanwhile, 5G is a mobile phone technology that uses radio waves – the lowest-energy form of radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. It is not connected to COVID-19. The World Health Organization says no research has linked exposure to wireless technology with negative health effects (here).

Leicester has had 5G coverage since November 2019 (here) and it is one of dozens of British cities and large towns with the service (here).


False. The technology behind 5G networks is in no way linked with COVID-19, which is a disease caused by a virus.

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