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Oldham: Fresh coronavirus curbs for Greater Manchester borough after cases surge
28 July 2020, 14:37
Fresh coronavirus restrictions have been introduced to a borough in Greater Manchester after its cases surged.
Residents in Oldham were told on Tuesday to stop having social visitors in their homes, bar those already in their support bubble.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to six people from different households, and people should remain two metres apart from family and friends outside.
Elderly and vulnerable people have also been told to keep shielding and care homes will not be allowed visitors.
The new curbs are in place for a fortnight until 14 August, Oldham Council said.
The move comes after the borough recorded 119 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the seven days to 25 July, against just 26 the previous week.
This means a current rate of 50.2 positive tests per 100,000 versus 10.2 per 100,000 the week before, putting it third-highest in the UK.
“A significant proportion of recent cases are multiple individuals from one household showing that household spread is a real issue – especially in households with large families,” Oldham Council said.
“In addition, a large number of recent cases were in our Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities (just over 65% of cases in the last seven days).
“We’ve seen a small number of cases in care homes this week – the first for a number of weeks.”
Councillor Arooj Shah, deputy leader of Oldham Council, 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."
It is the third area of Britain to see localised restrictions in response to infection spikes, ahead of a further easing of the national lockdown on Saturday, to allow most remaining leisure venues to reopen.
Parts of Leicester remain in a local lockdown, while Blackburn and Darwen Council has rolled out special measures after the region saw the highest infection rate.
It comes after Boris Johnson warned on Tuesday there were signs of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe and that the UK has to be "vigilant" regarding the threat of a second wave of Covid-19.
The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit to Nottingham where he defended the Government's decision to impose quarantine restrictions on Spain.
"What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again," he said.
"Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic."
The Blackburn curbs include limiting meet-ups to two households, wearing cloth face coverings in all enclosed public spaces and a ban on handshakes and hugs outside the immediate family.
Public Health England’s latest “watchlist” for the week beginning 20 July lists Leicester, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, Blackburn and Darwen and Luton as “areas of intervention”, following outbreaks.
Nine other councils are being monitored for increasing infection rates.