THE GOVERNMENT has slapped a local lockdown order on Greater Manchester after fears of a coronavirus spike in the area.
There are serious concerns around a second wave of coronavirus for the UK after Matt Hancock revealed new lockdown restrictions in the North West on July 30.
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Is Greater Manchester in local lockdown?
Yes, Greater Manchester is now in local lockdown.
2.8 million Mancunians are no longer allowed to visit each others houses, but otherwise they are under the same rules as the rest of the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday, July 30, that Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire would see their lockdown rules restricted from midnight.
This followed after 846 new positive coronavirus cases were recorded in England, the highest number in 32 days.
Previously, only Leicester had been forced into a local lockdown after they saw a rise in their number of cases.
What is the rise in cases around Manchester?
Local authorities have seen an uptick in the number of week on week cases per 100,000 between the weeks of July 13 to 20 (left figure); and July 20-27 (right figure), according to PHE data.
New weekly case numbers are in brackets.
The full list of Manchester areas affected is:
- City of Manchester – 14.1 (77) to 26.1 (143)
- Trafford – 15.2 to 41.0 (97)
- Stockport – 8.9 (26) to 16.8 (49)
- Oldham – 23.3 (55) to 54.3 (128)
- Bury – 12.6 (24) to 16.8 (32)
- Wigan – 3.4 (11) to 7.1 (23)
- Bolton – 16.8 (48) to 15.8 (45)
- Tameside – 8.9 (20) to 16.4 (37)
- Rochdale – 50.5 (111) to 31.4 (69)
- Salford – 13.4 (34) to 21.2 (54)
What did Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham say?
Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, made a statement as the lockdown was announced.
He said: "Over recent days, there has been a marked change in the picture across Greater Manchester with regard to the spread of Covid-19.
"We have gone from a falling rate of cases in nearly all of our boroughs last week to a rising rate in nine out of ten affecting communities across a much wider geography.
"In Rochdale, the one borough where cases have fallen, they are still too high."
"We have always said that we will remain vigilant and be ready to respond quickly should the need arise. In line with that approach, I have agreed with the Health Secretary that it is right to act on the precautionary principle and introduce modest measures now to bring down the rate of new infections.
"I ask all Greater Manchester residents – young and old alike – to protect each other by observing these new requirements.
"They will be reviewed weekly; meaning the more we stick to them, the quicker they will be removed.
"This is a place which prides itself on looking out for each other. We now need to be true to that by not acting selfishly and keeping the health of others in mind at all times."
What did Matt Hancock say?
The Health Secretary said the government had to apply measures across all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs as the virus was spreading more widely than in the local areas where specific action had already been taken.
He told Sky News: “We absolutely looked at what was the right geography for this decision.
“Unfortunately we have seen an increase in the number of cases in Trafford and we also work with the local authority, and local authorities within Greater Manchester including the mayor, and took the decision to apply this across the whole of Greater Manchester.
“The reason for that is we've seen these increases across the board in Greater Manchester as well as the other areas that are affected.
“And also the problem was that we had taken more targeted, more specific local action, for instance in Oldham and Blackburn.
“But we could see that it was spreading more widely than that so we had to take the action that we did.”
What are the rules?
For the time being, those in the specified areas will only be banned from entering the homes of other households.
This means that non-essential shops will remain open and people can still go to pubs and restaurants.
But Mr Hancock has not ruled out further lockdown restrictions should the current measures fail to slow the rise in cases.
In his statement he insisted that he was "determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe."
When will the local lockdown be reviewed again?
The lockdown will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
When will the local lockdown end?
There is no specific date for when the local lockdown in Manchester will end, but it is being closely reviewed.
A decision will be made by senior PHE officials including the Chief Medical Officer, senior civil servants and relevant secretaries of state.
Restrictions will likely be lifted once the situation improves.
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