The Speaker
Friday, 12 April 2024 – 12:14

Coronavirus restrictions extended in parts of Northern England

Coronavirus restrictions in parts of Northern England are being extended as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that ‘cases are still rising’ and that ‘we must not let up’. Mr Hancock announced changes to the restrictions in the Liverpool City region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. The new rules in these areas will be;

  • Social mixing between people in different households in all settings except outdoor public spaces will be banned in law.
  • Social mixing between people in different households in other settings such as parks or outdoor hospitality will be advised against, but not banned in law.
  • Guidance will advise against the use of public transport for all but essential travel including going to work or education.
  • It will also be recommended that people should not attend professional or amateur sporting events as spectators in the areas that are affected and should only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances.

Elsewhere, restrictions in Bolton will be aligned with those in the rest of Greater Manchester. There will be no rule changes in West Yorkshire, the West Midlands, Leicester, Lancashire or the rest of Greater Manchester which are currently under localised restrictions.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases has risen sharply over recent days and weeks. On Wednesday, further 7,108 cases of the virus were announced.

On Wednesday, the Health Secretary promised MPs a vote on future Coronavirus rules before they come into force ‘wherever possible’, however, he warned that some urgent regulations could not be held up.

Ahead of PMQs on Wednesday, the Speaker of the Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle said “The way in which the government has exercised its powers to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory.”

Currently, the Coronavirus Act is in force – a piece of emergency legislation passed in March that grants extensive powers to authorities to tackle the virus without the need for Parliament’s approval on every measure first. On Wednesday, MPs voted by 330 votes to 24 to extend the powers.

The promise by Mr Hancock to provide a vote ‘wherever possible’ came following concerns from many MPs that there was a lack of parliamentary scrutiny on Coronavirus regulations and ahead of the vote on extending the emergency powers.


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