NORTHERN Brits hit last night by bombshell new lockdown laws can meet in pub gardens – but NOT in back gardens.
The clarification comes after widespread confusion over the new restrictions, which were announced at 9.16pm last night.
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The rules ban 4.5million people in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire from meeting each other indoors from midnight last night.
People living in affected areas can still go to work and even visit shops and cafes – but cannot go inside other homes.
They’re also banned from visiting each other’s gardens.
Official guidance released for the north west of England this morning referred only to indoor areas at restaurants, cafes and bars.
However, new guidance has been issued by the Government that says people will be able to meet in groups of six at pub gardens.
The advice reads: “You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces including outdoor seating or beer gardens in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households.
“You cannot meet people you do not live with in a private garden.”
What the new rules mean:
- You can go to the pub or a restaurant, but only with your household/bubble
- You can only be with members of your household or bubble in your home or garden
- You can celebrate Eid and go to a place of worship but only if you follow social distancing – celebrations with members outside your household cannot take place in your home or garden
- You can go on holiday but only with members of your household or bubble
The new rules were instated hours before the UK’s coronavirus death toll rose to 46,119 after another 120 people died with the illness.
New Covid-19 cases have risen by 880 – the highest jump for 33 days.
And today, Boris Johnson has put the brakes on lockdown measures across the UK, with weddings cancelled and businesses including bowling alleys told they cannot reopen as planned tomorrow.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock himself today appeared muddled by the new guidelines, suggesting on BBC Breakfast that households in the lockdown area could visit those outside of the impacted regions – contradicting the official advice.
THE government introduced new guidelines for parts of England last night – just three hours before they came into force
So how did the last 24 hours unfold?
Thursday July 30
1pm: News of a possible announcement about Leicester’s lockdown is circulated with political reporters, expected to be held about 3pm
3.30pm: News of the announcement on Leicester’s lockdown is pushed back to 5pm
6pm: The announcement about Leicester’s lockdown was then pushed back to 8pm before finally being pulled
9.16pm: Matt Hancock speaks on Sky News about the new lockdown rules
9.16pm: Hancock tweets that from “midnight tonight” households in certain regions would not be able to meet inside
10.49pm: Andy Burnham, Manchester Mayor, tweets out guidance he is aware of
11.19pm: Initial guidance over new rules sent to media
Friday July 31
6.55am: Full lockdown guidance is issued on government website
According to the guidelines published this morning, it is illegal for people who are in the affected region to visit other homes regardless of whether it is in or out of the restricted area.
The new rules are expected to be subject to a weekly review.
The affected areas include all of the 2.8million residents of Greater Manchester, as well as the Lancashire towns of Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.
West Yorkshire, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees were also hit.
Leicester was also included in the households ban, but pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will reopen on Monday.
However, leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed.
Brits were seen soaking up the sun outside pubs in Manchester – as Boris Johnson gave a press conference to tell the nation he wouldn’t “stand by and allow the virus to cause more pain and heartache in this country”.
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He said there had been a “warning light” after new ONS figures showed 4,900 new cases had been recorded every day – up 63 per cent from 3,000 per day figure on July 14 – in what appeared to be the “first rise since the end of May”.
And Government scientists have warned restaurants and pubs may need to shut across the UK later this summer so schools can reopen in September.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said Brits may need to make sacrifices – and warned that relaxing rules further will “absolutely, inevitably” lead to a resurgence of the virus.