Targeted lockdown measures were implemented in Greater Manchester on Thursday at midnight, following a worrying increase in the infection rate.
Residents of Greater Manchester have been banned from meeting inside their homes or in gardens, and households can no longer mingle inside pubs, restaurants and other venues.
There were 168 positive cases of Covid-19 in the city of Manchester in the week ending July 29 – the highest number since May 25.
Manchester’s infection rate on July 29 was 30.7, which has almost doubled since July 22, when it was 15.9.
Meanwhile, in Stockport, the infection rate continues to climb, with 61 cases in the same week – the highest number since May 27.
There are 20.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Stockport, up from 8.2 on July 22. The rate jumped 4.1 in just two days.
The number of cases in Tameside is also on the rise, from a rate of 10.7 on July 22 to 19.5 on July 29. From July 27 to 29 alone, the rate increased by 3.1.
Trafford and Oldham had seen particularly sharp spikes in the infection rate, but this appears to have leveled off over the past two days.
Trafford public health officials believe the rise is concentrated in the south of the borough, around Hale and Altrincham.
From July 22 to July 27, the infection rate dropped from 26.2 to 41.0. Between July 27 and July 29, this rate fell to 36.
Oldham’s rate climbed from 38.6 to 55.2 between July 22 and July 27. That number has now dropped slightly to 54.7.
Anywhere with a rate above 50 cases per 100,000 is rated “red” by the government in its assessment of the numbers.
Rochdale’s infection rate continues to decline, following the introduction of a number of targeted measures earlier this month.
In the week ending July 29, the rate was 25.9, a significant drop from 47.3 on July 22.
Wigan, Bolton and Bury haven’t seen spikes the same way other boroughs have – but are still subject to the new lockdown rules.
Within two days, Bury saw a reduction in cases, with the infection rate dropping from 16.8 on July 27 to 14.7 on July 29.
The infection rate in Salford increased very steadily, from 16.1 on July 22 to 21.6 in the week ending July 29.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he and local leaders were regularly monitoring the infection rate in the region this week.
He said the data, which shows an increase in cases in nine of the ten boroughs, justified the introduction of new restrictions.
But he criticized the government’s communications strategy, with several million people being told of the new rules via Twitter.
“We regularly monitor the infection rate in Greater Manchester. This week, things have changed significantly with an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in nine of the ten boroughs, ”he said.
“We agree with the government that this provides a clear evidence base for modest restrictions to be introduced to bring down and decrease the rate of infection more rapidly.
“We strongly recommend that when future announcements of this nature are to be made, all supporting details should be available to the public at the time any public or media statement is made. ”
Mr Burnham had asked the government to clarify how the new rules would work for reception venues with terraces.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that meeting another household in pub gardens or in an outdoor restaurant is now allowed under the new restrictions.
Now the official guidelines have been updated to confirm Mr. Hancock was wrong.
He now says: “You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces, including outdoor seating or open-air gardens in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group consists of only people from 2 households. “