LOCKDOWN restrictions were reintroduced on July 30 for around five million people across a large area of northern England after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases.
The new rules ban different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire from meeting each other inside their homes or even in gardens.
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The government announced the measures at 9.16pm on Thursday, July 30, less than three hours before they took effect at midnight.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "households gathering and not abiding by the social-distancing rules" was a reason for the stricter rules and that the move was in order to "keep the country safe".
He said: "We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it's necessary because we've seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we'll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe."
The move comes as celebrations take place for the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha, which started on the evening of July 30 and continues over the weekend, and after the Government reimposed quarantine measures for those arriving in the UK from Spain and Luxembourg.
For those seeking more detail on the local lockdown rules, the government published a longer guidance page early this morning (July 31).
All the measures will be reviewed each week.
Where are the affected areas?
Greater Manchester – City of Manchester; Trafford; Stockport; Oldham; Bury; Wigan; Bolton; Tameside; Rochdale; Salford.
Lancashire – Blackburn with Darwen; Burnley; Hyndburn; Pendle; Rossendale.
West Yorkshire – Bradford; Calderdale; Kirklees.
What are the new rules?
It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden.
You can no longer socialise with people you do not live with in indoor public venues, such as pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Can I still meet people outside?
You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces (such as a park) in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households.
The Health Secretary confirmed this morning said two households can still meet "at a social distance in a public place outdoors".
Can I still meet with my friends and family to celebrate Eid?
You may attend a mosque or other place or worship but you must socially distance from people outside of your household.
This means maintaining a distance of two metres, or one metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).
Can I still go to work?
Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work.
Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?
Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household.
Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?
Vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from August 1, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the North West and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.
Can I visit a care home?
You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
Can I still have my wedding or civil partnership?
Yes. But no more than 30 people can attend.
Can I travel outside of the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Yes. But you must observe social distancing measures.
Can I travel into the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Can I still visit a place of worship in the lockdown area?
Yes. However you must socially distance from people outside of your household.
This means maintaining a distance of two metres, or one metre with mitigations (e.g. face coverings).
The government has recommended that (if possible) prayer and religious services take place outdoors.
Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?
Yes, but no more than 30 people can attend.
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