Tough new lockdown rules have been announced for parts of the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire, in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

It comes after curfew measures for the north-east of England came into affect from midnight, including a ban on mixing with members of other households and pubs and restaurants being forced to shut between 10pm and 5am.

New lockdown restrictions will come into force on Tuesday in Merseyside, Warrington, Halton, and Lancashire, excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester, the Government said today.

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 Tuesday next week.

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Meanwhile 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.

Some wards in these areas had previously been exempt from such restrictions but the Government has confirmed they are now all bound by them.

Another change announced is that individuals who are shielding in Leicester will no longer need to from October 5.

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.

Merseyside has a number of boroughs on the UK’s watchlist, including Wirral, with an infection rate of 43.6 per 100,000, Liverpool (31.1) and Knowsley (30.1).

Hyndburn, in Lancashire, has the third highest infection rate in England with 132 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September – up 64.2 from the previous week.

Preston was previously placed on local lockdown in August after local health authorities asked the Government to do so. The city’s infection rate went up from 75.5 last week to 125.8 making it the fourth worst in England.

These figures are well above the 20 per 100,000 people threshold used by the Government for its travel quarantine list.

It follows reports that a two week national lockdown could be enforced in October to try and stem the rise of coronavirus across Britain.

New figures show the R-rate – measuring reproduction of Covid-19 – has risen above 1.3 in the UK.

It is thought to be 1.4 in England and 1.3 in Sctoland and Wales. An R-rate of less than 1 indicates that the virus is in decline.

More to follow.

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