Liverpool Has Been Placed Under Local Lockdown Measures As Coronavirus Cases Spike
Liverpool has been placed under local lockdown measures (Credit: PA)
Liverpool has become the latest city to be placed under local lockdown measures amid a major spike in coronavirus cases.
Health secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that measures imposed in the north east of England several days ago will be extended to cover Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesborough.
People are advised against mixing with anyone outside their own household except in public outdoor spaces, from visiting care homes unless in exceptional circumstances, attending sporting events as a spectator and all but essential travel. Schools will remain open.
No changes have been made to any of the other areas under local lockdown, except in Bolton, where more stringent rules have been brought into line with the rest of Greater Manchester.
The nationwide 10pm curfew on the hospitality industry will remain in place, despite calls for it to be reviewed.
"We want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible," Mr Hancock told MPs.
"Together we can crack this. The more people follow the rules, the quicker we can get Liverpool and the north east back on their feet."
The health secretary said the number of cases in Liverpool had hit 268 per 100,000, prompting ministers to take action.
He added: "It is critical that the whole country acts together now to control the spread of this virus.
"So please, for your loved ones, your communities and your country...do your bit to keep this virus under control."
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth called for more targeted financial support to be offered to places hit hard financially by lockdown measures, including Liverpool.
"This is a region which is hugely reliant on hospitality and leisure, and we know that these restrictions extract heavy social and economic tolls," he said.
"Existing inequalities, which themselves have a health impact and allow the virus to thrive, will be exacerbated."
Mr Ashworth also asked whether backward contract tracing in local lockdown areas was being carried out and for data to be published.
In his response, Mr Hancock said further information would be published on Thursday by Public Health England "to better understand how this virus spreads".
He added: "Absolutely we have backward contact tracing in these areas. One of the reasons that we know, sadly, that the highest area of likelihood of picking up a case of coronavirus outside your own household is in social settings is because of backward contact tracing."
For live updates on local lockdown restrictions across the country, check PoliticsHome's interactive map.