Coronavirus restrictions are to be tightened again in Stockport and Wigan and introduced in Blackpool for the first time amid rising cases.
People will be banned from mixing with other households in their homes or private gardens from midnight.
Wigan’s weekly infection rate rose to 107 cases per 100,000 on 20 Sep. Stockport had 71 cases per 100,000 in the same week and Blackpool had 70.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the measures would be kept under review.
Mr Hancock said it would be “difficult news” for people but the government did not take these decisions lightly.
Blackpool Council’s director of public health, Dr Arif Rajpura, said there had since been a “significant rise” and figures showed “a lot of our transmission has been in households” so it was “appropriate” to impose a restriction on household mixing.
Conservative MP for Hazel Grove William Wragg said he had argued that national measures should have been allowed to “bed in first” and he hoped this would be “reviewed frequently” and lifted as soon as possible.
What are the new rules?
People living in these areas will:
- Not be allowed to gather in a private dwelling or garden with any other household
- Not be allowed to visit people in private dwellings or gardens in other areas
There are also exemptions for work purposes or to provide care to a vulnerable person.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham earlier said figures were “creeping up” across Greater Manchester but it was “happening steadily”.
Eight out of 10 boroughs have more than 100 cases per 100,000 and Bolton has more than 200, he said.
Mr Burnham said it was “difficult to argue against measures which seek to try and bring those numbers under control but there is a limit to what any restrictions like this could achieve”.
“Fixing NHS Test and Trace seems to be better than piling more restrictions on,” he said.
Neil Jack, chief executive of Blackpool Council, said the health of the town’s residents was of “paramount importance”.
He said there was “no evidence” of any direct links between increased infection rates and tourism, but he would continue to put a high focus on ensuring visitors and tourism businesses “do the right thing”.