Towns and cities in north-west England, West Yorkshire and Wales will be the latest to face new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
It comes after 6,874 cases were recorded across the UK, the highest daily rise since the outbreak began. The country’s R rate is now between 1.2 and 1.5 – with the number of infections growing by between 4% and 8% every day nationwide .
Leeds in West Yorkshire, Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, and Wigan, Stockport and Blackpool in Lancashire will have local lockdowns which come into effect from midnight tonight.
Wales’s two largest cities, Cardiff and Swansea, will follow suit the following day.
Every borough of London has also been highlighted as an area of concern, and Teesside as an area of enhanced support by the Department of Health and Social Care.
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From Saturday, Wigan and Stockport, which had been exempt from a lockdown imposed on Greater Manchester, will now face the same restrictions as the rest of the region.
Blackpool, which was free from restrictions in the rest of Lancashire, will join the rest of the county in having to follow the same rules.
This means residents in these three areas must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
Locals are also advised only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work, and avoid attending amateur sporting events.
The ban already applies to the city of Manchester, Merseyside, parts of Cheshire, Trafford, Bury, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford, Bolton, Oldham, Preston, Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle – with people also advised to avoid mixing in public venues too.
Leeds will follow the restrictions currently in place in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford from tomorrow.
This means residents in the city will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
They will also be advised not to socialise with anyone outside their household in public venues, including bars, restaurants and parks.
The Department of Health and Social Care said some wards in West Yorkshire were exempt from existing restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban.
Childcare bubbles announced this week will be allowed to form to help families care for children under 14, as long as their carers are consistent. This includes formal and informal childcare arrangements.
Meanwhile in Wales, Llanelli will go into local lockdown from 6pm on Saturday, followed by Cardiff and Swansea 24 hours later.
People will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse, the Welsh Government has confirmed.
They will not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with, and the system of extended households will be suspended.
These areas will be added to the list of Welsh areas already in lockdown – Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly.
Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands remain areas of intervention with restrictions on household mixing in private dwellings. Stoke on Trent has been removed from the watchlist.
In the East Midlands, Leicester and Oadby and Wigston remain areas of intervention, but Corby and Northampton have been removed from the watchlist.
Blaby remains an area of enhanced support, meaning extra testing and tracing support will be deployed in the area.
In the North East, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland, North Tyneside, Northumberland and County Durham remain as areas of intervention.
Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Redcar and Cleveland have been escalated to areas of enhanced support.
With all of London on the Government’s area of concern list, the prospect of a local lockdown in parts of the capital is looking increasingly likely.
As the 10pm curfew on pubs came into effect in England on Thursday night, crowds were seen filling tube stations as they all headed home at the same time .
One witness described the Tubes as ‘the busiest I’ve seen in central London for months’ as everyone ‘rolled onto the streets’ with no staggered leaving times.
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