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Govt announces changes to rules on gatherings in Northern parts of England after spike in COVID-19 cases

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Millions of households in north England, including those in

  • The Greater Manchester area
  • Pendle
  • Hyndburn
  • Burnley
  • Rossendale
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • Leicester City

face stricter lockdown rules than the rest of the UK from Friday amidst a feared spike and second wave of COVID-19 cases.

“We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of northern England,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from Public Health England (PHE) and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.

It means people in these areas will not be permitted to mix with other households apart from those in their support bubbles in private homes or gardens.

The regulations will give local authorities and police forces the powers to enforce these restrictions and more details on these will be set out when the regulations are published.

Households may go to hospitality, for instance bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.

Meanwhile local leaders and government have today agreed a number of changes to local restrictions in other areas.

While social gathering restrictions remain in place in Leicester City, the area will benefit from the lifting of restrictions that took place on 4 July in England, and all local restrictions currently in place in the neighbouring borough of Oadby and Wigston will end.

It means from Monday 3 August restaurants, cafes, bars and hairdressers in Leicester City can get back to business but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed. In addition, cinemas and museums will open and religious ceremonies will be able to take place.

And on Saturday 1 August, Luton will be brought in line with the rest of the country after significant progress has been made in controlling the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.

We’ve been working with local leaders across the region, and today I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee. Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.

The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing. So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.

We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of coronavirus across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe.

The restrictions currently in place in Blackburn, announced last Friday, which saw indoor swimming pools, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms and sports facilities remaining closed, will continue.

From Saturday, these leisure facilities will open in Luton, bringing it in line with the rest of the country.

We have been working closely with local leaders across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire and have made the decision to bring in new restrictions on social gatherings for selected areas.

For those preparing to celebrate Eid Al Adha this weekend with friends and family these restrictions will come as a blow but everyone is being urged to follow the new rules and to protect the ones they love from catching coronavirus.

Mosques and other places of worship have reopened for prayer and communal worship, but in a different socially distanced and COVID-19 Secure way. This means that while mosques can remain open, many will not able to welcome as many worshippers as before.

Anyone with any symptoms (a high temperature, new continuous cough, change or loss to sense of smell or taste) must isolate immediately and get a test for free by going online or ringing 119. Everyone must continue to socially distance and regularly wash their hands to help tackle the virus.

What do you think?

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Written by nationscoops

↯Nation Scoops specializes in reporting on global news stories—including politics, entertainment, faith, business

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