Monday, 03 August, 2020

United Kingdom imposes new rules as COVID-19 cases rise

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Gustavo Carr | 01 August, 2020, 12:43

A planned reopening of casinos in England for Saturday has been postponed until at least August 15 as the United Kingdom government tightens restrictions on Manchester and other areas of northern England.

"We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of COVID across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe", Hancock said on Twitter.

"So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas", Hancock said on Twitter.

The rules affect 4.5 million people across Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, where the government said there had been a growing number of Covid-19 cases.

Government data released Friday showed there was "some evidence that the incidence of new infections has increased in recent weeks" in England.

The opposition Labour party warned that the delayed reopening of parts of the economy could have dire consequences for workers, and called on the government to help those affected.

News that the reopening of English casinos, bowling alleys and ice rinks would be postponed came today in a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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The local lockdown measures came into effect at midnight (2300 GMT Thursday), just hours after being announced.

Reacting to the news, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he agreed with the decision taken by the government and he hoped it would improve the situation in the region.

Millions of people are coming to terms with new restrictions which were suddenly reimposed last night across large swathes of northern England in a bid to control spikes in infections. Areas affected by the latest lockdown have significant Muslim populations.

Muslims celebrating Eid-al-Adha should not host or visit friends and family in each other's homes or gardens.

Hancock said Leicester would now follow the same ban on meetings between different households being applied to Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.

The measures are the second batch of regional restrictions imposed to try to curb a second wave of the virus in Britain, following a stricter local lockdown in the central England city of Leicester.

Britain's official coronavirus death toll stands at just over 46,000, the third-highest total in the world after the United States and Brazil.