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Extra Covid-19 rules were introduced in northern England in July

Tightened restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 are to be eased in parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

Stricter measures were imposed in those areas and other parts of England in July amid a rise in cases.

The ban on separate households meeting up will be lifted in places such as Stockport, Bolton, Trafford, Burnley and Hyndburn from Wednesday.

Current restrictions in Leicester will remain until a review on 11 September.

Parts of Bradford will have restrictions eased except for Bradford city and Keighley town.

The changes also mean relaxed rules in Calderdale except for Halifax and Kirklees, excluding Dewsbury and Batley.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We brought in measures to protect people in these parts of northern England.

“We’re seeing the positive results of our local approach, and are able to bring in increasingly targeted measures.”

Businesses which opened elsewhere in England on 15 August, including bowling alleys and indoor play areas, will also be able to reopen in the areas where rules are being relaxed.

The government said in Leicester, which has been subject to tightened restrictions since the beginning of July, the indoor gatherings restrictions will remain in place and some leisure businesses will remain closed until a review on 11 September.

Cases per 100,000 population in Burnley halved during the week ending 20 August from 52 to 24.6, while cases in Bolton and Stockport fell from 25.6 to 18.9, and 23 to 15.1 respectively, and Trafford cases dropped from 27.1 to 17.8, the government said.

From Wednesday, the ban on two households mixing will be lifted in:

Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, Hyndburn, parts of Bradford excluding Bradford city and Keighley town, parts of Calderdale excluding Halifax, parts of Kirklees excluding Dewsbury and Batley

Businesses such as bowling alleys and indoor play areas can also re-open in the above areas.

Restrictions will continue in the following areas:

North-west England

•A ban on two households mixing indoors will continue in Preston, the City of Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Rochdale, Bury, and Tameside

•In Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn, residents are also advised to avoid mixing with anyone from another household inside or outside.

•Some businesses and organisations will remain shut in Blackburn and Darwen.

Leicester

•On top of the indoor gatherings restrictions, some leisure businesses will remain shut

•The next review of these measures will take place by 11 September

West Yorkshire

•The ban on indoor household gatherings remains in urban areas of Bradford, Dewsbury, Batley and parts of Calderdale

•Some businesses and organisations remain shut in urban areas of Bradford

Shielding advice for clinical extremely vulnerable individuals remains across all of Blackburn with Darwen, and Leicester.

Birmingham which was became an “area of enhanced support” last week has avoided a local lockdown after what West Midlands mayor Andy Street said was a “remarkable” turnaround.

Ramping up testing and a legally-enforced crackdown on businesses flouting Covid-19 measures has helped it avoid local restrictions.

Sandwell in the West Midlands and Swindon have moved up the Public Health England “watchlist” to become “areas of enhanced support”, meaning they will get additional resources to tackle a rise in cases.

Luton has moved down from “enhanced support” to an “area of concern” following a drop in cases.

Stoke-on-Trent is being added to the list for the first time as an “area of concern”.

Trafford, Bolton, Stockport, Burnley, Hyndburn, Burnley, parts of Bradford, parts of Kirklees, and parts of Calderdale are moved down the list from “intervention” to “enhanced support”.



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