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What are the new Covid restrictions in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire?
18 September 2020, 15:46
New coronavirus restrictions will be brought in for the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire to help curb the spread of infections.
The three regions will all be hit with tough new coronavirus restrictions next week following a surge in new cases.
In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained that the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 had been rising "fast" and added that the government was "acting decisively" to protect local communities.
"I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission," he said.
"I urge local people to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember ‘hands, face, space’. By sticking to these steps, we will get through this together."
But what are the new restrictions and how are they going to affect you?
What are the new restrictions in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire?
All affected areas will be banned from mixing with other households outside of support bubbles in a move that mirrors measures implemented in the North East overnight last night.
In Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire, hospitality and entertainment venues will be subject to table service only, and will have a nightly curfew between 10pm and 5am.
Residents in these areas have also been advised to only use public transport for essential journeys, which include travelling to work and school.
Spectating at amateur or semi-professional sporting events has been advised against.
A government statement said synagogues would remain open for communal worship - in line with Covid-related guidance - to allow for Jewish communities to mark Rosh Hashanah on Friday.
When do the new measures come into effect?
The measures will be implemented from Tuesday 22 September in all three regions.
There is no provisional end date for the restrictions, with local lockdowns so far lasting varying lengths of time across the country.
Each area's situation is regularly reviewed and when infection numbers fall, restrictions can then be eased again.
For example, restrictions in Aberdeen were brought in for August but were later lifted.
Explained: North East England lockdown rules
Which towns are affected by the new restrictions?
This includes Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester) in the North West; Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston in the Midlands; and Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in West Yorkshire.
In Liverpool, rates have increased to 100.6 cases per 100,000 people, while Warrington has seen a rise to 112.2.
Oadby and Wigston, meanwhile, has skyrocketed to 145.5, and Wolverhampton to 61.8.
In a further update, the statement said people shielding in the city of Leicester and North East Blackburn would no longer need to do so from 5 October.
Other areas have also been removed from the coronavirus watchlist after a marked improvement in transmission.
These include Swindon, Breckland, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Broadland, North Norfolk, South Norfolk, King's Lynn and West Norfolk.