Thursday 30 July, further lockdown restrictions were announced for the whole of Greater Manchester, alongside parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The affected areas are:
- Greater Manchester: City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford
- Lancashire: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale
- West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees
What is the new guidance?
The new guidance explains that people in these affected areas cannot invite people – even those who live outside the affected areas – to their homes or their gardens. It also means people who live in the affected areas cannot visit people who live outside the affected areas.
Support bubbles are unaffected by the latest restrictions and single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children under 18) can continue to visit each other, stay overnight and visit other places as if they are one household.
Breaking the new restriction rules is also breaking the law, and you could get a fine starting at £100 – or £50 if paid within 14 days.
According to the national guidance, as of 3pm today Friday 31 July, people who live in the affected areas can still meet others in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. But again, you cannot meet in a private garden if you live, or intend to visit someone, in an affected area.
People can still travel into and out of the affected areas for work, as long as the workplaces are COVID-secure, and people can still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places.
There will be some limited exemptions, which would allow you to visit people in affected areas, but these are yet to be specified in law by the government.
What does this mean for Warrington?
Although these restrictions don’t apply to Warrington, it is a warning to remain extra cautious when planning to go outside, given that there are areas of Greater Manchester that share a border with Warrington, such as Trafford, Salford and Wigan – where people may have friends and family.
It means that Warrington residents cannot visit people who live in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire, and also cannot allow people who live in these areas to visit.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Cabinet member for Public Health, said: “These new restrictions will, I’m sure, be difficult news for many, but they are necessary to help prevent another major and prevalent outbreak of the virus. Breaking the new restrictions is illegal and the fines are in place to support everybody’s safety. It is simply not worth the financial or health risks of flouting the new restrictions.
“We are doing ever so well in Warrington to contain and prevent the spread of the virus, and I’m thankful to our communities and residents for following the guidance and playing their part to stop the spread of the virus.
“In some Warrington communities, you could only be a matter of metres away from a boundary into an affected area, like Trafford for example, so please take extra care and caution if you’re planning on heading out and about.
“We cannot be complacent about the spread of this indiscriminate virus and must remain cautious. Please try and avoid going into the affected areas if at all possible unless, and, as difficult as it might be, please do not allow people who live in these affected areas to visit – unless of course you are in a support bubble.”