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 Saturday 26 September, 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.
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