Tough new Covid-19 lockdown measures banning people from mixing in homes and gardens will be imposed on Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell, in response to rocketing infection rates.
The Government also announced the easing of restrictions in Leicester and a number of areas being taken off the watchlist.
But which areas are facing new restrictions and where are they being eased?
– What new restrictions have been imposed?
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced on Friday that Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull were being made areas of national intervention due to rising infections.
From Tuesday residents in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell must not meet with people from outside their households or support bubble, it added.
– Why have the new measures been introduced?
Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell have seen a large increase in their rate of new Covid-19 infections.
In Birmingham, 1,031 new cases were recorded in the seven days to September 8 – the equivalent of 90.3 per 100,000 people, up sharply from 35.9 in the seven days to September 1.
Solihull was up from 14.8 to 68.4, with 148 new cases, while in Sandwell the rate has risen from 21.9 to 52.4, with 172 new cases.
– Which areas have been added to the watchlist?
Leeds avoided further lockdown restrictions, after the Government responded to a rise in Covid-19 rates with enhanced support.
Many people in the city had expected the local authority, the second largest in the UK, to be placed in measures similar to those imposed on Birmingham.
Following an increase in #COVID19 cases in Birmingham, Sandwell & Solihull, residents in these areas must not meet with people from outside their households.
These measures are part of a number of agreed changes to local restrictions announced today.
Read the full update 👇🏼
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) September 11, 2020
Instead, Leeds will move from the Government’s watchlist to being classed as an area of enhanced support.
South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, and Newcastle upon Tyne were also added to the watchlist as areas of enhanced support
Merseyside, Hartlepool, Sheffield and Hertsmere have also been added as areas of concern, the DHSC said.
– Where have restrictions been eased?
Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas will be able to reopen in Leicester from Tuesday, the DHSC said.
Socially-distanced indoor performances will be able to resume and restrictions on certain close contact services – such as eyebrow threading or make-up application – will be lifted, it added.
But the ban on inter-household gatherings in private homes and gardens will remain in place.
– Which areas have been taken off the watchlist?
Kettering, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, and Luton have been removed from the watchlist.
Northampton, Swindon , North Norfolk, South Norfolk, West Norfolk, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Breckland, Norwich and Broadland are de-escalated from areas of enhanced support to an area of concern.
– What restrictions remain in place?
The DHSC said that designated areas in Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Greater Manchester where restrictions are already in place remain as areas of national intervention.
Rossendale, Hyndburn and Burnley also remain as areas of enhanced support while Corby and Peterborough remain as areas of concern, it added.
The ban on indoor household gatherings will continue in urban areas of Bradford where the ban is in place, while in Kirklees, the ban on indoor household mixing will continue in Dewsbury and Batley.
The ban on indoor household mixing will also continue in parts of Calderdale, the department said.
New restrictions in Brum, Sandwell and Solihull come into force on Tuesday but I would ask everyone in those areas to begin following the new guidance immediately. pic.twitter.com/wLNI7dROK3
— Andy Street (@andy4wm) September 11, 2020
A ban on households mixing indoors will continue in City of Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Trafford, Oldham, Bury, Bolton and Tameside, and in Oldham residents will continue to to be advised to avoid mixing with anyone from another household anywhere.
A ban on two households mixing indoors will continue in Preston, Pendle and part of Blackburn, while in parts of Blackburn and Pendle residents will continue to be advised to avoid mixing with anyone from another household.
Stockport will remain an area of enhanced support and Middlesbrough, Corby and Peterborough remain on the watchlist as an area of concern.
– What is happening in Bolton?
New measures were announced earlier this week restricting restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to takeaway only, and all hospitality venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am in Bolton.
But the DHSC said that casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas – including soft play areas – will remain closed.
Socially distanced indoor performances will remain banned , and restrictions on certain close contact services will remain.
– How have restrictions changed in Scotland?
Tougher restrictions on home visits have been extended to Lanarkshire, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced.
People living in the area will not be able to meet other households in their homes from midnight on Friday.
They come after lockdown restrictions in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire were continued for a further week on Monday, having first been introduced on September 1.