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Coronavirus: North England Covid-19 restrictions extended

Coronavirus: North England Covid-19 restrictions extended

Restrictions on social gatherings will continue in parts of the North West and Yorkshire
Lockdown restrictions on social gatherings for parts of northern England will continue despite measures being relaxed across the country.In Greater Manchester cases have risen in Oldham, with a similar trend in Pendle, Lancashire, while case numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen.Bradford and Kirklees in Yorkshire have also seen case numbers rise.The government will work with leaders in the region to address the rising trends.The ban on indoor gathering continues to apply in these areas and people will continue to be prohibited from mixing with other households within private homes or gardens.
Oldham had 112 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to 8 August, the highest in the country.
Second lockdown warning
Blackburn with Darwen Council, which figures for the week up to 10 August show had 82 cases per 100,000 people, said it was looking to increase local testing.Despite an England-wide easing of restrictions planned from Saturday with reopening of venues including casinos, bowling alleys and conference halls, such places in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire will remain shut. Pools, indoor gyms and other leisure facilities as well as nail bars, spas and beauty salons will open across England but will remain closed in Blackburn and Bradford, with shielding to continue for people in Blackburn with Darwen.Oldham Council leader Arooj Shah, said "despite the efforts of our residents, businesses and public services positive cases continue to rise" and warned of a second lockdown.
Extra measures were put in place in Oldham in July after a rise in positive cases
"Earlier this week we warned of the risk of imminent lockdown for the borough and, despite today's announcement, those warnings remain," he said. "In the absence of a vaccine, an effective testing and tracing system is vital in the management of this crisis. We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with government both to improve our access to government testing facilities for residents and to deliver more contact tracing at a local level."In a joint statement Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Mohammed Khan, Sayyed Osman, director of adult social care and Prof Dominic Harrison, director of public health, said the local authority has acted "decisively and proactively since cases started to rise". "We have been lobbying for increased testing capability, including hyperlocal community testing; more funding for businesses and more funding to help people who unable to work because they are isolating," they said."As many people as possible need to get tested as well as it helps us understand what is happening with the virus in our borough."
'Remain vigilant'
The council did not rule out the possibility of further lockdown measures which it said could be imposed unless "significant progress" is made in reducing cases.Health minister Edward Argar said it was "essential" people remained vigilant."I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules - wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to," he said.Measures will be reviewed next week alongside the latest data. Pendle Council has been contacted for comment.
Blackburn
Oldham
Pendle Borough Council
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