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Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
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8:00 PM 1st October 2020

Further Restrictions Confirmed In Parts Of The North East And North West In Response To Rising Infection Rates

New measures will be brought into law in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough as incidence rates rise.

Residents will be restricted by law from mixing with people outside their household in any indoor setting
Bolton will be brought in line with measures in Greater Manchester

In close discussions with local leaders, the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE) and the Chief Medical Officer for England have agreed to strengthen local measures in parts of the North East and North West.

Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Halton, Liverpool City Region, (Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, the Wirral) and Warrington will be brought in line with the latest measures announced on Monday for Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland in the North East.

From midnight on Saturday 3 October, residents in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting, including private homes and gardens. These measures will be enforceable by law and subject to fines. It comes as incidence rates in Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Halton and Warrington are above 170 per 100,000.

We also recommend that people do not meet with anyone outside their household or bubble in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and outdoor hospitality.

Alongside these measures, £7 million of funding will be provided to these local authorities to support them with their vital work.

Schools and COVID-secure settings are not affected and remain open. Residents in these areas are also advised to only travel for essential reasons, such as going to work, or school and are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

"Our strategy is to suppress the virus, protecting the economy, education and the NHS, until a vaccine can make us safe.

"I understand how much of an imposition these new measures are. I want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible. I am sure we all do.

"The more people follow the rules and reduce their social contact, the quicker we can get Liverpool, and the North East, back on their feet."

In addition, from midnight on Saturday 3 October, Bolton will be brought in line with measures in place throughout the rest of Greater Manchester as case rates have fallen. This means hospitality businesses including bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants can resume table service subject to early 10pm closure and the rule of 6 restrictions.

Bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, casinos, indoor play, including soft play and conference centres and exhibit halls will also be able to reopen in Bolton. Previous advice against restarting indoor theatrical or concert performances will no longer apply. Restrictions on attending weddings, wedding receptions and funerals will be brought in line with the rest of Greater Manchester and the country.

PHE, the JBC and NHS Test and Trace constantly monitor the levels of infection and other data on prevalence of the virus across the country. The government is prepared to take immediate action should the epidemiological evidence show that further measures are required. Restrictions will only apply for as long as they are necessary to cut transmission of the virus and protect local communities.

As announced previously, childcare bubbles will be able to form in areas of intervention to allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household, as long as they are consistent. This includes formal and informal childcare arrangements.

Changes to the watchlist for the North:

North West

Barrow-in-Furness added as an area of concern
Cheshire West and Chester added as an area of concern
Cheshire East added as an area of concern

West Yorkshire

Wakefield added as an area of concern

South Yorkshire

Sheffield escalated to an area of enhanced support
Rotherham added as an area of concern

North East

Hartlepool and Middlesbrough added to areas of intervention