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 introduce local measures in parts of the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds have been escalated to areas of intervention and London has been added as an area of concern. Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Redcar & Cleveland (Teesside) have been escalated to areas of enhanced support.
From this weekend, residents and visitors in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds will no longer be allowed to mix with people outside their household or bubble in private homes, including gardens. This will be enforceable by law.
Residents and visitors in these areas are advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any setting, whether a bar, shop or leisure facility – indoors or outdoors.
As announced this week, 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.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Cases are rising in parts of the North East, and discussions are ongoing with local leaders about potential further measures.
The changes come as the weekly surveillance report is published by Public Health England (PHE), with a number of updates to this week’s local authority watchlist, published on GOV.UK.
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. As has always been the case, measures are kept under constant review to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Changes to this week’s watchlist
- London has been added to the watchlist as an area of concern
- Wigan and Stockport to be escalated as areas of intervention and will follow the restrictions currently in place in Greater Manchester
- The additional restrictions in Bolton remain in place
- Blackpool to be added to as an area of intervention in line with the rest of Lancashire
- Merseyside and parts of Cheshire remain subject to additional measures and restrictions
- Leeds escalated to an area of intervention and will follow the restrictions currently in place in West Yorkshire (Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford)
- Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Wolverhampton remain as areas of intervention with restrictions on household mixing in private dwellings
- Stoke on Trent removed from the watchlist
- Corby and Northampton removed from the watchlist
- Leicester and Oadby and Wigston remain areas of intervention
- Blaby remains an area of enhanced support
- South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland, North Tyneside, Northumberland and County Durham remain as areas of intervention. Cases are rising, and discussions are ongoing with local leaders
- Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Redcar and Cleveland escalated to areas of enhanced support