It is expected that the Government will announce on Thursday that all or parts of Greater Manchester and Lancashire are to be moved into the ‘very high’ risk (third) tier of the new local lockdown system.
Such a move would see inter-household mixing banned in all settings and pubs and bars that don’t serve food would also be closed in these areas. Additional restrictions, such as the closure of gyms and casinos, which became effective in the Liverpool City region on Wednesday, may also be announced.
The areas are part of multiple regions in the North West where COVID-19 cases are considerably higher than in other parts of the country.
Both Manchester University and Lancaster University are in areas which were among the top 20 areas in England with the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in the latest seven day period.
Lancashire and Greater Manchester are currently in Tier 2 on the new local lockdown system, with restrictions already existing on inter-household mixing in indoor settings. A ‘gold’ meeting was held today with the Joint Biosecurity Committee to discuss a potential escalation of lockdown measures in the areas. It is understood that a further meeting may take place on Thursday morning to confirm any new measures.
Matt Hancock is due to deliver a statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Thursday at approximately 11.30am.