Separate households will not be allowed to meet indoors in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire from midnight, the government has announced.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said an “increasing rate of transmission” had been identified in those areas. “The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing,” he said. He also said the same restrictions will apply to the city of Leicester.
He said: “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it’s necessary because we’ve seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe.”
Mr Hancock added: “We’re constantly vigilant and we’ve been looking at the data, and unfortunately we’ve seen across parts of northern England an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus. So, today, I held a meeting of the Government’s Gold Committee and working with local leaders, including, for instance, Andy Burnham the mayor of Greater Manchester, we’ve decided that we need to take action across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.