Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News the new restrictions were “absolutely necessary,” adding: “When dealing with a pandemic like this, it’s important to act quickly if it’s what is necessary. ”
The news comes after the UK saw its highest daily total of COVID-19[feminine[feminine case for over a month.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the virus was “bubbling” in up to 30 zones across the UK.
The order, which affects around four million people, covers:
- Tout le Grand Manchester: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford et Wigan
- East Lancashire: Pendle, Hyndburn, Burnley, Rossendale et Blackburn avec Darwen
- West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale et Kirklees
- The city of Leicester, which saw the UK’s first local lockdown
This means that residents of those areas will not be allowed to mix with other households (except those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.
It is understood that there are currently no end points to the restrictions, but they will be reviewed weekly.
Some exemptions will be put in place, including for the most vulnerable.
The government will sign new regulations to make these changes legally binding.
The regulations will give local authorities and police the power to enforce these restrictions and more details will be provided when the regulations are released.
Households can go to hotels, such as bars and pubs, but new guidelines will make it clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.
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Mr Hancock said “households coming together and not following social distancing rules” was a reason for the decision, which had been taken to “keep the country safe”.
Data shows there is less transmission in the region when people go to work or to shops, he added.
“This is not the kind of decision that anyone would want to make, but as we have seen before, it is important to act quickly,” said the Secretary of Health.
He also said his “heart goes” to the Muslim community ahead of the Eid celebrations, which will likely be heavily impacted by the new restrictions.
Mr Hancock added: ‘We are constantly vigilant and have looked at the data, and unfortunately we have seen in parts of northern England an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. ”
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer criticized the way the announcement was made, calling it “a new low for government communications”.
“No one would dispute taking local action to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus,” he tweeted.
“But announcing measures potentially affecting millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for government communications during this crisis.
“When the government ended the daily press conferences, they said they would organize them for ‘important announcements’, including local lockdowns. It’s hard to imagine what could be more important than this.
“Despite all this boasting, the government has failed to provide a functioning tracking and tracing system that would spot local outbreaks like these.
Of the 19 local communities affected, the rate of COVID-19 in the seven days to July 27 increased in 13 of them, with 1,536 cases recorded in the space of a week.
Leicester’s local lockdown was imposed at the end of June, but Labor MPs in the region – Liz Kendall, Jonathan Ashworth and Claudia Webbe – have said on Twitter that some restrictions will now be lifted.
“The good news is that our pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants can reopen and people can go on vacation with their own household,” Ms. Kendall tweeted.
“But recreation centers, gymnasiums and swimming pools are still closed, and no meeting with other households inside. ”
The health ministry later confirmed that the restrictions would be eased from Monday.
Ms Webbe said Eid celebrations can take place in places of worship – provided social distancing is maintained – but not in private homes.
It was also announced that from Saturday Luton will be aligned with the rest of the country after “significant progress”.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told Sky News “the situation has changed” in Greater Manchester over the past week and said the government was “right to take swift action”.
He said the increase in cases “is not just about multigenerational households,” but also an increase in cases among young people.
Mr Burnham added that he “would look first to the people themselves to do the right thing and meet those demands”.
“The sooner we follow this advice, the sooner these restrictions will be lifted,” he said.