The new restrictions will come into force on Tuesday in Merseyside, Warrington, Halton, and Lancashire, excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester. Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens. Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and late-night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm and 5am.
The new north-west restrictions apply to Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, Preston, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and South Ribble, West Lancashire, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster and Ribble Valley in Lancashire, and to Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Halton and Warrington in Merseyside and Cheshire.
In the Midlands, residents in Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston will be banned from socialising with people outside their own households or support bubbles in private homes and gardens from September 22.
In West Yorkshire, residents in all parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale are also banned from socialising with other households or bubbles in private homes and gardens.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.
“Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them.
“I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission.
“I urge local people to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember ‘hands, face, space’. By sticking to these steps, we will get through this together.”
Mr Hancock said a second national lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus had still not been ruled out but the “great hope” is that people will heed current advice to help manage a “very serious” situation.
Mr Hancock said a national lockdown was the “last line of defence” as he responded to reports that ministers are considering further national measures, even for just a two-week period, such as imposing a curfew on bars and restaurants.
He spoke as tough new coronavirus restrictions came into force across large parts of the country as the number of people in lockdown rose to more than 10 million – with another major region next in store.
Emergency measures which came into effect at midnight last night cover Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham and more areas are expected to be added to the list today.
Figures released yesterday showed there had been a further 3,395 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, and 21 more people had died within 28 days of testing positive.
This brings the UK death toll to 41,705, although separate figures published by the statistics agencies show 57,500 cases where COVID-19 was mentioned on a death certificate.
A total of 18,371 new people tested positive for COVID-19 in England in the week to September 9, a rise of 75 percent in positive cases on the previous week.
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1.13pm update: Welsh leader slams Boris Johnson – ‘vacancy at heart of UK’
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has lashed out Boris Johnson for failing to discuss the coronavirus crisis with the leaders of the devolved nations.
Mr Drakeford said there was a “vacancy at the heart” of the UK and had had one brief conversation with Mr Johnson since 28 May despite the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19 across the UK.
He said: “This is simply unacceptable to anyone who believes that we ought to be facing the coronavirus crisis together.
“We need a regular, reliable rhythm of engagement: a reliable meeting even once a week would be a start.
“I make this argument not because we should all do the same things, but because being round the same table allows each of us to make the best decisions for the nations we represent.
“There is a vacancy at the heart of the United Kingdom, and it needs urgently to be filled, so we can talk to each other, share information, pool ideas and demonstrate a determination that the whole of the country can face these challenges together at this most difficult time.”
Nicola Sturgeon said COVID-19 was on the rise again in Scotland
12.48pm update: Sturgeon warns of ‘exponential’ rise in Scottish coronavirus case numbers
Nicola Sturgeon has warned that Scotland is “facing the risk again of exponential growth in COVID”.
The First Minister said “the virus could get out of our grip again” but insisted there was still time to prevent that happening.
Ms Sturgeon said: “We need to act to interrupt that exponential growth.
“No-one wants to see another full-scale lockdown.
“And above all we want to keep schools and childcare open because we know how important that is to the education and to the broader wellbeing of children and young people.
“We are seeing increasing numbers of places both here in Scotland and across the rest of the UK that are under local and regional restrictions.
“The bottom line here is that this virus is on the rise again. Our case numbers are not yet rising as fast as they were back in March but they are rising again and they are rising quite rapidly.”
12.33pm update: Council warns resident to respect new lockdown rules
Council chiefs in Wolverhamption have warned residents they could face fines if they ignore tough new lockdown rules.
A statement from the City Council said: “These restrictions will be law and people could be fined for breaking them.
“The measures will not affect schools, public transport or workplaces, though people should still practise social distancing and wear a face covering where required.
“Wolverhampton has become an area of national intervention – along with neighbouring Sandwell, Birmingham and Solihull where similar restrictions came into force on Tuesday – due to a sustained raise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.”
Latest data shows that confirmed cases in the West Midlands city have risen five-fold in a fortnight.
Ryanair has been forced to ground more flights
11.35am update: Global coronavirus cases pass grim milestone
Global coronavirus cases have now passed the 30 million mark with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing.
India remains firmly in focus as the latest epicentre although North and South America combined still account for almost half of the global cases.
More than 30.02 million people have been reported to be infected by coronavirus around the world with the death toll standind at 941,817.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China last December.
11.23am update: Ryanair grounds more flights amid COVID-19 travel restrictions
Ryanair has announced it will further reduce its operations due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
The budget airline said its capacity in October will be 40 per cent of 2019 levels, compared with the 50 percent it previously announced.
The firm said it expects to fill 70 percent of seats on its planes.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to reduce our October capacity from 50 percent of 2019 to 40 percent.
“However, as customer confidence is damaged by government mismanagement of Covid travel policies, many Ryanair customers are unable to travel for business or urgent family reasons without being subjected to defective 14-day quarantines.”
Israel is back in lockdown after a surge in coronavirus cases
9.59am update: Israel under lockdown amid surged in COVID-19 cases
Israel has entered a second nationwide lockdown at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season after the number new cases reached daily highs of more than 5,000.
Social distancing and limits on the number of worshippers will go into effect at synagogues, usually packed for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement that begins at sunset on September 27.
Since the outbreak began, 1,169 people have died in Israel, a country of 9 million.
The country’s initial lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May as new cases tapered off, reaching lows in the single digits.
But Israeli leaders now acknowledge they lifted measures too soon.
Boris Johnson is making ‘huge decisions’ to protect the country, according to Matt Hancock
9.37am update: Boris Johnson ‘enormously vigorous’ and making ‘weighty decisions’
Boris Johnson is still “enormously vigorous” and that the seriousness of the decisions taken by the Government should not be overestimated, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Responding to questions on Times Radio about Boris Johnson’s fitness to run the country, having recently appeared to be “exhausted and defeated”, Mr Hancock said: “Yes of course absolutely, he’s enormously vigorous and I think it’s important to recognise that this is a really big moment.
“The seriousness of the decisions we take can’t be overestimated and we’re making judgments about how to protect the health of the nation and how to save tens of thousands of lives whilst balancing that with the enormous social and economic and health impacts of the measures that we have to take.
“These are huge decisions and very weighty ones and so it’s hugely understandable that the people making them should be taking them extremely seriously.”
Matt Hancock said 500,000 tests would be carried out each day by October
9.19am update: Hancock vows to increase testing to 500,000 per day
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has vowed to increase coronavirus testing to half a million per day by the end of October.
He said: “We’re doing that by getting more machines into the labs, we’re installing those as we speak.
“We’re hiring more people to run them because it is a logistical exercise as well as the scientific parts of it, just to get the samples into the right slots.
“We’re automating that process which is important. That’s on the current technology, then there’s the much-discussed next-generation technology.”
Mr Hancock referenced a new testing system, created by company DnaNudge, which is reported to provide results of coronavirus tests in 90 minutes.
He said: “The unit is only the size of a shoebox so you don’t need a full-blown lab in order to do it and we’re backing loads of those new technologies.”
Large parts of the North East are back in lockdown
9.04am update: Rhondda Cynon Taf in lockdown
The Rhondda Cynon Taf area of south Wales has been put into lockdown after a “rapid rise” in COVID-19 cases.
The new restrictions mean people are forbidden from entering or leaving the area without a reasonable excuse.
Meetings with other people indoors will not be allowed, including extended households.
All licensed pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, which has a population of around 240,000, will have to close at 11pm.
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said the lockdown followed two “significant” clusters of COVID-19 cases in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.
One was associated with a rugby club and a pub, while the other was linked to a group of people in their 40s and 50s who took a coach trip to Doncaster races.
8.34am update: Ministers consider new nationwide lockdown – Laura Kuenssberg
Ministers are considering a new nationwide lockdown to slow the surge of coronavirus cases, according to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
She said the new measures, which could see hospitality businesses shut down again for a short period – a “circuit break” of a few weeks – could be announced in the next week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said another full national lockdown would be the “last line of defence”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancocl said the Government wanted to avoid such a measure, but was “prepared to do it” should coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock
8.23am update: UK lifts travel restrictions on Thailand and Singapore
Britain has added Thailand and Singapore to its list of travel corridors meaning travellers arriving in the UK from those countries after 4am on Saturday will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
8.06am update: Poll shows Britons unhappy with COVID-19 crisis response
YouGov’s coronavirus tracker poll shows the proportion of Britons who approve of the way the Government has responded to the pandemic has fallen to its lowest level yet.
Just 30 percent think Boris Johnson’s Government has handled the issue of COVID-19 well while 63 percent said it has handled it badly.
7.30am update: Labour lashes out at Government’s coronavirus strategy
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has attacked the Government over its COVID-19 testing system.
Mr Ashworth said: “Labour warned months ago that unless the Government spent the summer fixing the testing regime then we would face a bleak winter.
“The Government ignored that advice, the testing regime is collapsing and so it is not surprising national restrictions are back on the table.”
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed