Stricter lockdown restrictions have been reinstated in several areas across England in response to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, with tougher measures recently introduced in parts of the North East.
Leicester was the first city to enter a local lockdown back in June, but many other cities have since seen measures tightened to help curb the risk of further spread.
Relaxations to rules on social gatherings and travel abroad in recent months has contributed to a rise in cases, along with the return to classrooms for children and students, with some areas being worse affected than others.
What’s happening in the North East?
Local restrictions were introduced in the North East on 18 September, with the new measures including a 10pm curfew on bars and pubs, and a ban on mixing households.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the changes on 17 September, with the rules to applying to Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.
The new rules include:
- Residents being told not to socialise with people outside their household or social bubble
- Table service only in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants
- All bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other leisure and entertainment venues to close between 10pm and 5am
Where else in England have local lockdowns been imposed?
A number of towns and cities in England have seen tougher localised restrictions introduced, including parts of North East England, Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, West Yorkshire and the Midlands.
Currently, the following areas all have local restrictions in place:
Blackburn with DarwenPendlePreston
BoltonCity of ManchesterTraffordBuryTamesideRochdaleSalfordOldham
Bradford - in the following wards only:
- Bolton and Undercliffe
- Bowling and Barkerend
- Bradford Moor
- Idle and Thackley
- Little Horton
- Great Horton
- Clayton and Fairweather Green
- Thornton and Allerton
- Keighley Central, East and West
Calderdale - in the following wards only:
- Northowram and Shelf
- Illingworth and Mixenden
- Sowerby Bridge
Kirklees - in the following wards only:
- Dewsbury East, West and South
- Batley East and West
What are the lockdown rules?
Tougher restrictions on social contact are currently in place in parts of the Midlands, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire, preventing multiple household mixing.
People who live in the affected areas must not:
- Host people who do not live in their home or garden, unless they are in their support bubble. Households that are within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together
- Meet people who do not live in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they are in their support bubble
People must only come inside your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law, including:
- where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
- to attend a birth at the mother’s request
- to visit a person who is dying
- to fulfil a legal obligation
- for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
- for the purposes of education or training
- for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
- to provide emergency assistance
- to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a
- risk of harm
- to facilitate a house move
- to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
- to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents
From 14 September, in line with new rules across the whole of England, people must not meet in a group of more than six people in any location.
However, for people who live in the affected areas with local restrictions, government guidance states that people should not:
- Socialise with people they do not live with, unless they are in their support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas, and includes pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks.
- Visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
Additional restrictions in further parts of the North West and West Yorkshire will also come into effect from 22 September.
These will apply to:
- Halton (borough council area)
- Lancashire (county council area, including Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle, and excluding Blackpool)
- Merseyside (county council area)
- Warrington (borough council area)
- Bradford (metropolitan district council area)
- Calderdale (metropolitan borough council area)
- Kirklees (metropolitan district council area)
As of 22 September, rules state all hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. Hospitality venues include:
- restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
- cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
- bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
- social clubs
The following businesses and venues must also close from 10pm to 5am each day in the affected areas:
- the hospitality businesses and venues listed above
- amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
- funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
- bingo halls
- concert halls
What are the penalties?
Police can take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings. People aged 18 or over will be able to be fined:
- £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
- £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200
Travel into and out of the affected areas is permitted, but people must not meet up with anyone who does not live in their home or garden, unless they are in their support bubble.
People can also still go on holiday outside of the area, but should only do so with people they live with, or have formed a support bubble with.
A version of this article orignally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.