How soon before your town or county might find itself on the watch-list for lockdown?
Another blanket national response, where the same restrictive measures are imposed across the country, is not ruled out in the event of a dangerous spread.
But the hope is that this draconian move, which is so economically and socially crippling, will not have to be repeated.
Instead, the Government plan is to have more regional or local shutdowns if there is a serious spike in Covid-19 cases and sustained community transmission.
So what can people expect if these plans are rolled out?
Public health doctors would have to assess the level of increased local transmission of Covid-19 before any decision to impose restrictions regionally or locally is made.
Data on the local infection rate and concentration of cases would have to be gathered and evaluated. Testing and tracing allows for authorities to better spot where cases are starting to spike and spread.
The response would have to be proportionate. It would also have to be targeted, particularly if a certain industry or business is at the centre of the spread. The aim would be to break a chain of transmission.
A key objective is to protect vulnerable sectors such as nursing homes. The plan could involve renewed restrictions on visiting nursing homes and residential centres in a particular locality.
Additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus include closing certain premises or restricting the movements of people and interactions with others.
Rolling back freedoms
Dr Cillian de Gascun, of the expert group advising the Government, recently said if there were 100 new cases a day there could be a rowing back of some of the measures loosening restrictions. He mentioned reverting to phase two of the roadmap out of lockdown.
People would have to confine themselves to their own county or 20km from their home if crossing county boundaries. The over-70s would be advised to stay home as much as possible. The likelihood is it would not be a cut-and-paste version of the phase two plan and nuanced.
There is a lot more known about how to control the virus now but it continues to be highly infectious and difficult to chase. It loves close human contact so the aim is to reduce that as much as possible.
The geographical approach to outbreaks was recently discussed by the National Public Health Emergency Team which advises the Government. It said a macro response would be taken at national level. A meso response would be targeted regionally or at a specific sector. The third approach would be micro or local lockdown.
If there is a regional lockdown it would have to be taken on a cross-Government basis so areas like transport would be involved. It said that the plan would have to be feasible and effective to implement.
Clearly confining restrictive measures to a particular region or area is more difficult and could potentially be unsuccessful when compared to a national lockdown.
Indoor versus outdoor
Indoor activities continue to pose more of a risk than outdoors. So if restrictions are implemented on people from different households meeting indoors they could go ahead outdoors, provided there is physical distancing.
Learning from our neighbours
Other countries which have suffered flare-ups during the summer have imposed lockdowns on regions or cities.
The UK has implemented a number of local lockdowns already. The first was imposed in Leicester in early July.
Measures required non-essential retail to close, restricted gatherings indoors of more than one household, and banned residents from staying overnight away from their homes. Pubs, restaurants and cafés, which were permitted to open across the rest of England on July 4, had to remain shut in Leicester.
The latest lockdown was imposed this week on Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire in response to a spike in Covid-19 cases. People from different households will not be allowed to meet in homes or private gardens. The rules also ban members of two different households mixing in pubs and restaurants, but individual households will still be able to visit these social venues.
Setting a time limit
Any local or regional lockdown will have to be reviewed every two weeks or so. It would be crucial to get buy-in from the local community and businesses. One of the lessons learned from local lockdowns in other countries is they have to be justified or people will see an area being unfairly discriminated against.
The operation of local or regional lockdowns would be complex and there would need to be good communication. For instance in Leicester, a day prior to the start of the lockdown, the local council did not know which areas would be affected by the new rules.
Do they work?
Yes, Leicester again is something of a test case. It has seen a fall in cases, dropping by 13pc in a week. It has been partially lifted with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen on Monday. But members of two households are still banned from meeting in private homes, gardens, pubs and restaurants.