Restrictions on household gatherings to continue across North West
Date published: 07 August 2020
The restrictions on gatherings will be reviewed again next week with any changes to be announced by Friday, August 14
The current rules on social gatherings will continue in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and Leicester, following a review of all local restrictions by government and local authorities.
The measures were announced last week to urgently tackle an increase in COVID-19 cases in these areas.
With the latest data not showing any evidence of a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, the Health Secretary, in close collaboration with local leaders, has agreed that the rules must remain in place.
This will help protect local residents, and allow more time for the changes to have an effect, cutting transmission among households.
At the request of the Local Authority, Preston will be now be added to the list of areas included in the ban on households gathering in each other’s homes and gardens, effective from midnight tonight (Friday).
Guidance will make clear that people should not be gathering with other households anywhere indoors.
The restrictions on gatherings will be reviewed again next week with any changes to be announced by Friday, August 14.
Health Secretary Matt 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 Local Action Gold Committee, and unfortunately, the data does not yet show a decrease in the transmission of this terrible virus. It means we must keep the current restrictions in place to allow more time for the impact of this ban on indoor gatherings to be felt, and make sure local residents and their loved ones are protected.
"At the request of the local area we are also extending these restrictions to Preston.
“We are constantly examining the data on the prevalence of the virus in these areas, and we will review the measures again next week.
“As we continue to see rising rates of the virus across Europe, it is vital we take every precaution to protect our country.
"I urge everyone in these areas to follow the rules, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to.”
As part of ensuring a proportionate yet robust response to the virus, where possible, the government will remove individual areas from these measures while maintaining or even strengthening measures in others as necessary – just as has been done in other areas where local measures have been brought in, like Leicestershire.
The ban on Greater Manchester indoor gatherings will now apply to:
City of Manchester
This means that people in these areas will continue to not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubble) within private homes or gardens.
People are still able to meet others in groups up to six individuals, or two households, in outdoor public places.
Anyone with any symptoms must isolate immediately and get a test for free by going online or ringing 119.
Everyone must continue to socially distance and regularly wash their hands to help bring this virus down further so all areas can return to normal as soon as possible.
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