Everything Matt Hancock said as government confirms Greater Manchester lockdown extension

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The local lockdown in Greater Manchester will continue, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. This means the stricter rules on social gatherings – announced last week to tackle an increase in coronanivirus cases – will continue here and in other parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and Leicester.

The move follows a review of all local lockdowns yesterday (Thursday) by the government and local authorities which showed no evidence of a drop in the recent increase in cases per 100,000 people in each of the affected areas.

Preston has been added to the list of local lockdown zones where households are prohibited from gathering in the homes and gardens of others.

Restrictions on gatherings will be reviewed next week and changes will be announced by Friday, August 14.



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Mr Hancock said: ‘The past week has been difficult for many people in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, and I thank everyone in these areas for their patience and willingness to follow the rules.

“Yesterday, I chaired a meeting of the Gold Committee of Local Action, and unfortunately, the data does not yet show a decrease in the transmission of this terrible virus. This means we need to keep the current restrictions in place to allow more time for the impact of this ban on indoor gatherings to be felt, and to ensure that local residents and their loved ones are protected. At the request of the region, we are also extending these restrictions to Preston.

“We are constantly reviewing the data on the prevalence of the virus in these areas, and we will review the measures next week.



Matt Hancock confirmed the extension today

“As we continue to see rising virus rates across Europe, it is vital that we take every precaution to protect our country. I urge everyone in these areas to follow the rules, take a free test as soon as you experience symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace asks you to. ”

The government has said it is ready to remove areas from the list of local lockdowns or add other areas to the list depending on the trajectory of the virus.

The ban on indoor gatherings will now apply to the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, Leicester and parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

This means that residents of these areas will still not be allowed to mix with other households (except those in their support bubble) in private homes or gardens.

People can still meet other people in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households, in outdoor public places.

The measures for Preston will be the subject of close scrutiny with the potential for even stronger localized measures, officials said.

As a “zone of intervention”, the city will benefit from additional monitoring, support and localized testing.

Local leaders and the government also agreed to a number of other changes to local restrictions in other areas which are announced today.

Swimming pools, indoor gymnasiums and other leisure facilities will remain closed in Leicester, Bradford and Blackburn. The shield will also continue for the people at Blackburn with Darwen and Leicester City.

Public Health England’s weekly watch report includes changes to the ‘watch list’ of local authority areas with higher than average incidences of COVID-19.

Bedford and Swindon have been added as “areas of concern,” while Oadby and Wigston will be demoted from “enhanced support” to “area of ​​concern” following a decrease in the number of cases.

Rotherham is deported “thanks to a dramatic drop in cases,” according to the government.

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said: “The Mayor of Greater Manchester and leaders agreed on Wednesday that increased restrictions should continue in the city-region for an additional week.

“Along with the ongoing measures, Greater Manchester will take further action at the local level over the next seven days. Targeted enforcement will take place, for example mystery shoppers visiting pubs and restaurants to ensure that they comply and register customer details.

“We will also continue to focus on communicating messages directly and simply to the public, especially the younger ones, to make sure it is clear that there should be no social visits to homes as long as these restrictions are in place. remain in place.

“However, we also need the government to improve the testing and traceability system. Ministers must ensure that people have the financial support to be able to isolate themselves immediately and we need underutilized staff from national centers redeployed urgently to local areas.

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