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Covid-19: England and Wales begin tougher rules for millions

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25June 2020

Stricter coronavirus rules are coming into force for nearly six million Britons.

Greater Manchester’s population of 2.8 million joined Liverpool City Region and Lancashire in England’s highest tier of restrictions at midnight. And from 18:00 BST, the 3.1 million people in Wales will have to stay at home as a 17-day lockdown begins. It comes as a minister said there was a “common purpose here to get the virus down” so people could enjoy Christmas.

“I think few people expect it to be exactly as it would normally,” said Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay – but “the ability of families to spend Christmas together” was “something we all hope to be in a position to do”. Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said the lockdown in Wales was happening now so “we can have a much more normal Christmas season for businesses”.

The UK recorded another 189 deaths and 21,242 new confirmed cases on Thursday. Warrington has become the latest place to be placed into tier three – or “very high” alert level. The measures will take effect next week. Nottingham and parts of Nottinghamshire are also expected to be moved into tier three next week, with the finer details such as whether or not gyms can stay open still to be decided as talks continue.

The tier three alert level means people cannot mix with other households and pubs and bars will be closed – unless they are serving substantial meals. Some areas in the top tier have also gone further, closing businesses such as bingo halls, casinos, betting shops and soft play centres. Households are banned from mixing outdoors in private gardens or anywhere inside and people are advised against travelling into or out of the area.

South Yorkshire will also move into tier three restrictions from 00:01 on Saturday, by which time more than seven million people will be living under England’s tightest rules.

Posted in: health care Medical
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