The Greater Manchester borough’s 235,000 residents are being asked not to have social visitors to their home and to keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside. Anyone shielding has been asked to continue to do so until August 14. Deputy council leader and cabinet member for COVID-19 recovery Arooj Shah said people would have to revert back to the two-metre social distancing rule.
She said: “We’re urging residents to continue to take the risk of coronavirus seriously and to stick to the guidelines.
“The best way to avoid infection is to limit contact with others as much as possible and to stay home wherever you can, including working from home.
“Limit contact with other people and respect social distancing where you do go out; keeping at least two metres from those not in your household and avoid shaking hands or hugging.
“Where meeting outside you should meet in groups of no more than six people from different households.
Oldham has ushered in new lockdown measures after a spike in coronavirus cases
A woman wearing a mask shops in a store in Manchester
“Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles.
“You should be doing everything possible to avoid taking part in gatherings of more than 30 people.”
Oldham joins Leicester with tougher localised lockdown measures after the Government introduced the strategy following a shutdown.
The new restrictions have been introduced “after the number of cases of coronavirus in the borough increased dramatically over the last week”, Oldham Council said.
People in Oldham have been told to revert back to the 2m social distancing rule
The area recorded 114 fresh cases in the week to July 24 – four times as many as the previous week.
Oldham Council has said that a “significant proportion” of new infections involve multiple people testing positive within the same household.
The local authority said the household spread is a “real issue” for the community, particularly in cases concerning larges families living under the same roof.
Around 20 percent of the borough’s population are from Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.
Facials reopening: When can you get a facial again? [ANSWERED]
Coronavirus UK: Call for annual NHS and Frontline Workers Day [ANALYSIS]
Boris issues warning of second coronavirus wave coming from Europe [WARNING]
Coronavirus cases have spiked in Oldham
Along with other towns with a large Asian population suffering elevated infection rates, public officials and local politicians say large families are looking after elderly relatives at home.
They said this explains the ethnic population’s vulnerability to the disease.
Oldham has recorded a total of 2,036 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began.
UK coronavirus map as of July 27
Katrina Stephens, director of Public Health for Oldham, has urged people to “all do our bit and stick to the restrictions”, adding “we can help stop the spread of coronavirus, and protect ourselves and our loved ones”.
The localised lockdown comes two weeks after Oldham was placed on Public Health England’s “watchlist”.
It was designated an area of concern for the nationwide authority before being removed from the list last Thursday.
Oldham’s lockdown comes as Boris Johnson warned about a potential “second wave” of COVID-19 in Europe.
Elderly women sit out in the sun in Manchester
The Prime Minister indicated that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on those returning from further European countries in the event of fresh outbreaks.
Mr Johnson already faces a diplomatic row with Spain after warning against all but essential travel to the country – and its resort islands – insisting that travellers arriving in the UK from there must spend a fortnight in quarantine due to an increase in cases.
Defending the move, he insisted the Government would not hesitate to act if flare-ups of coronavirus occurred in other destinations.
He warned: “I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.”