Coronavirus: Visiting people at home banned in parts of northern England


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Media captionWell being Secretary Matt Hancock: “We take this motion with a heavy coronary heart”

Tens of millions of individuals in components of northern England are actually going through new restrictions, banning separate households from assembly one another at house after a spike in Covid-19 circumstances.

The foundations influence folks in Higher Manchester, east Lancashire and components of West Yorkshire.

The well being secretary informed the BBC the rise in transmission was as a result of folks visiting pals and kin.

Labour criticised the timing of the announcement – late on Thursday evening.

Well being Secretary Matt Hancock informed BBC Breakfast the federal government had taken “focused” motion primarily based on info gathered from contact tracing, which he mentioned confirmed that “many of the transmission is going on between households visiting one another, and folks visiting kin and pals”.

The brand new lockdown guidelines, which got here into drive at midnight, imply folks from totally different households is not going to be allowed to satisfy in properties or non-public gardens.

In addition they ban members of two totally different households from mixing in pubs and eating places, though particular person households will nonetheless have the ability to go to such hospitality venues.

The adjustments come as Muslim communities put together to have a good time Eid this weekend, and practically 4 weeks after restrictions have been eased throughout England – permitting folks to satisfy indoors for the primary time since late March.

The identical restrictions will apply in Leicester, the place an area lockdown has been in place for the final month.

Nonetheless, pubs, eating places and different services shall be allowed to reopen within the metropolis from Monday, as a number of the stricter measures are lifted.

There’s an inescapable reality right here – the coronavirus has not gone away and it nonetheless thrives on shut human contact.

The extra we come collectively the simpler it is going to unfold.

Now we have seen this occur as nationwide lockdowns have been lifted from Europe, to the US, to Australia and extra.

Higher testing means we will now spot the place circumstances are beginning to spike.

The warning indicators are within the knowledge with circumstances climbing in areas like Manchester, Trafford, Salford and Tameside.

The hope is the federal government has acted shortly sufficient to suppress the virus with “native restrictions” earlier than it turns into a nationwide drawback.

It’s now the flip of tens of millions of individuals in northern England to take the hit, however these native lockdown-tightening measures may occur anyplace.

That is the “new regular” as we purchase time till a vaccine is developed.

The well being secretary mentioned the transfer was not an try and curtail Eid celebrations after Miqdaad Versi, from the Muslim Council of Britain, mentioned the restrictions have been prone to have a “giant influence” on Muslim households celebrating Eid.

Requested on BBC Radio 4’s At the moment programme whether or not the measures have been introduced late on Thursday evening to cease the celebrations from happening, Mr Hancock mentioned: “No, my coronary heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas as a result of I understand how vital the Eid celebrations are.”

Additionally on the At the moment programme, Mayor of Higher Manchester Andy Burnham prompt that the rise in transmission had been brought about partly by gatherings “in multi-generational households”.

Requested whether or not he meant predominantly the Asian inhabitants of Higher Manchester, Mr Burnham replied: “Sure, I do imply that.”

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer, whereas welcoming the measures, condemned the federal government’s choice to announce the adjustments on Twitter just after 21:00 BST on Thursday as “a brand new low for the federal government’s communications throughout this disaster”.

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Media captionAfter Matt Hancock appeared to contradict the brand new guidelines, Andy Burnham mentioned it was as much as the federal government to clear up the confusion

The federal government printed particulars of the brand new restrictions two hours after the well being secretary tweeted the announcement, after which launched further guidance on the changes on Friday morning.

Ministers have mentioned police forces and councils shall be given powers to implement the brand new guidelines.

The most recent announcement intimately:

  • Individuals in Higher Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Leicester can’t combine with different households (aside from these of their assist bubbles) in non-public properties or gardens
  • Individuals in these areas can solely go to pubs, eating places and different hospitality venues with different members of their family
  • From Monday in Leicester, eating places, cafes, bars and hairdressers can open however leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools will stay closed
  • Cinemas and museums may also have the ability to open in Leicester from Monday and non secular ceremonies will have the ability to happen
  • The borough of Oadby and Wigston on the outskirts of Leicester is taken out of native lockdown
  • Additionally, gyms and leisure centres will stay closed in Blackburn, however they may have the ability to reopen in Luton – both towns saw the lifting of restrictions paused last week

Some native Conservative MPs questioned the federal government’s choice to use the measures to the entire of Higher Manchester, which incorporates 10 native authority areas – Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove in Stockport, tweeted that Higher Manchester was “not one homogeneous space” and treating all 10 boroughs the identical was “not the best method”.

The federal government all the time warned it could slam on the brakes if it needed to.

Now it has – on an unprecedented scale, with two-and-a-half hours discover.

Liberties not too long ago returned, nearly immediately snatched away.

And snatched with a rebuke from the well being secretary for England – Matt Hancock – who repeatedly mentioned this was mandatory as a result of some within the areas affected had failed to stay to social distancing guidelines.

I am informed the change comes with no time restrict, however shall be reviewed each week.

And do not be shocked if the federal government, from the prime minister down, make the case that this might occur elsewhere too if persons are cavalier concerning the guidelines.

And but, in Leicester, the native, extra extreme restrictions imposed there are to be eased. The newborn steps again in direction of normality are going to be hesitant and faltering; messy of their element and messy of their geography.

The virus has robbed us of many issues.

It continues to rob us of any certainty.

The present guidelines for the remainder of England permit two households – as much as a most of 30 folks – to satisfy indoors.

In Wales, indoor conferences between totally different households are nonetheless not allowed, however two households of any dimension can be a part of up in an “prolonged family”.

In Northern Eire, teams of as much as 10 folks from 4 totally different households can meet indoors, whereas in Scotland, as much as eight folks from three totally different households can meet indoors.

On Thursday, an extra 38 folks within the UK died, bringing the entire variety of Covid-19 related deaths to 45,999.

And 846 circumstances have been reported – the best variety of circumstances in a day for a month.


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