Manchester And Lancashire Advised Against Non-Essential Travel After Surge In Covid Cases, Matt Hancock Announces
Residents of Greater Manchester and Lancashire have been advised against non-essential travel under new government guidance to curb a surge in Covid cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Tuesday morning that people in the two regions in the northwest England should "reconsider" non-essential travel amid the continued spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
However, like the recent guidance issued to nearby Bolton, Blackburn and other areas of England last month, it is advisory and the rules for the areas remain the same as the rest of country.
Announcing the plans to the Commons on Tuesday, Hancock said: "I can tell the House that today, working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what is working in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there."
He added: "I want to encourage everyone in Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer."
The new support package will include "rapid response teams" to help in areas with large outbreaks, as well as further access to surge testing services.
"We know this approach can work. We've seen it work in South London and Bolton in stopping a rise in cases," Hancock added.
The new government guidance also urges people in the areas to meet outside rather than inside "where possible" and to keep 2 metres apart from people you don't live with or aren't part of a support bubble with.
People are also urged to avoid travel in and out of the affected areas and to continue to work from home if you can.
Greater Manchester is set to receive extra vaccinations and support from the military to help drive down infection rates, the Manchester Evening News reported.
Last month there was confusion when the government quietly updated its website to show new guidance for people living in eight areas of the country where the Delta variant first identified in India was most prevelant.