Coronavirus: Households banned from meeting in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn – as Birmingham added to watchlist | UK News


Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have escaped full local lockdowns, but strict new social distancing measures have been introduced instead following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Different households will no longer be able to meet in the three zones, regardless of the environment, including in parks and beer gardens – in addition coronavirus restrictions that were in place in Wigan, Darwen and Rossendale have been removed.

Birmingham was also added to this week’s watchlist as an “Enhanced Support Area,” meaning it will receive additional resources for additional testing and contact tracing, and Northampton becomes an ” zone d’intervention“, Placing it in the highest risk category and needing the most support.

The head of Oldham The council, Cllr Sean Fielding, said public transport would be considered “absolutely essential use only” and that the number of people allowed to attend weddings and funerals in the city would be reduced.

It is not yet clear when the new restrictions will be introduced.

The action was agreed with local leaders by the Secretary of Health Matt Hancock, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Center and Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty.

Oldham currently has the highest two weeks COVID-19[feminine[feminine case rate in England, Scotland and Wales – followed by Northampton and Blackburn with Darwen.

However, targeted testing and other measures have resulted in a drop in the rate of infections in the city.

A total of 187 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Oldham in the seven days to August 17 – the equivalent of 78.9 per 100,000 population and 111.8 in the seven days to August 10 – according to data from Public Health England released yesterday.

“We have made it clear to the government that a local foreclosure with business closures would not be the right solution to tackle the issues we are facing in Oldham,” said Fielding.

“Our alternative was an alternative that proposed measures that would reduce social mix and increase the targeting of tests and the application of tests in areas where it is most needed. ”

He added: “I know this is a difficult time, but we need to work together and come together now more than ever to reduce our cases of coronavirus and avoid any future threats of local lockdowns or new national lockdowns.

“I hope that I can count on the people of Oldham to support us and that together we can get through this crisis.

The head of Birmingham City Council is expected to propose the following four measures to control the spread in the city when he meets Mr Hancock later:

  • Stop any new opening of sectors
  • Restriction on gatherings of more than 30 (except prayer in congregation)
  • Advise drivers and customers to wear face masks in taxis
  • Limit visits between households to a maximum of two people from one household to another, at any time

Several parts of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester have already faced tighter restrictions for more than two weeks to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Ministers have given councils the power to declare local lockdowns – but can still impose them if deemed necessary.

Blackburn sets up its own tracing team

The latest PHE figures show Northampton is almost on par as Oldham with 78.4 cases per 100,000 people, a slight increase from 74.4, with 176 new cases.

A total of 101 new cases were registered during the same week in Blackburn with Darwen, where the rate fell from 81.5 to 67.5. Pendle’s latest weekly rate is also down to 64.1.

In Leicester – which was the first area to be placed in local lockdown after national restrictions were relaxed – the rate continues to drop from 70.3 to 52.5, with 186 new cases.

Why Oldham is the most infected place in England

This means holidaymakers returning to face a 14-day quarantine in the UK could return home to cities with higher rates of coronavirus than popular tourist destinations they have left.

The average number of cases in Croatia – which has now been added to the UK’s quarantine list – has fallen from 13.54 a week ago to 29.5 last week.

That’s above the UK government’s quarantine threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people in a week – but a number of local authority areas in England have rates much higher than that.

Other areas with notable week-over-week jumps include Manchester (from 38.5 to 49.0, with 271 new cases), Bury (from 22.0 to 33.0, with 63 new cases) and Stoke-on-Trent (from 15.6 to 26.1, with 67 new cases).

Meanwhile, the Greencore sandwich factory in Northampton is due to close from today as staff and members of their households self-isolate for 14 days.

It was announced last week that nearly 300 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak linked to the factory that makes sandwiches for M&S.


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