LOCKDOWN restrictions are to be eased in parts of the North West and Yorkshire from next week, it has been announced.
More than one million people will be free to mix in different households from next week.
From Wednesday, social gatherings can take place between two homes in Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
The decision came after local political leaders submitted their recommendations to the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We brought in measures to protect people in these parts of northern England, and I want to thank residents who have worked so hard to get on top of this virus.
“We’re seeing the positive results of our local approach, and are able to bring in increasingly targeted measures.
“It is vital we can maintain this good progress.
“I have every faith people across the country, especially in areas where we are seeing higher numbers of cases, will continue to play their part by following local rules, and self-isolating and requesting a free test as soon as they get any symptoms.”
Data showed coronavirus cases per 100,000 decreased during the week ending August 20 in Burnley from 52 to 24.6, in Bolton from 25.6 to 18.9, in Stockport from 23 to 15.1 and in Trafford from 27.1 to 17.8, said the Department of Health and Social Care.
But an analysis by the PA news agency of the latest Public Health England figures showed the rolling seven-day rate increased in Burnley, from 23.6 in the week to August 18 to 34.9 in the week to August 25 and in Trafford from 19.8 to 25.3.
The lifting of the measures in Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees excludes the Bradford city area, the Keighley town area, Halifax, Dewsbury and Batley.
Residents in Manchester, Rochdale, Bury, Tameside, Salford, Preston and Leicester will also still be banned from visiting others in their homes or gardens.
In addition, people in Oldham and parts of Blackburn and Pendle, where infection rates are the highest in the country, will still not be able to socialise with anyone outside their household anywhere.
Gary Hall, deputy chairman of the Lancashire Resilience Forum, which is leading the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said: “If we continue on this path I am hopeful that all parts of Lancashire will have the remaining restrictions lifted soon, but this depends on people following the rules wherever they live in the county.”
Parts of this article courtesy of PA Media