THE Government has rolled out new legislation to slow down a rise of coronavirus cases by putting an end to gatherings in homes in a fresh lockdown in the North.
People in huge parts of the country – including Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire – won’t be able to meet up with friends and family at homes but can still head to the pub.
The new regulations forbid people in Greater Manchester, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Calderdale, Kirklees, Blackburn and Bradford from meeting up in a “private” home.
This includes houseboats as well as catching up in a friends’ garden.
The new rules say: “no person may participate in a gathering… which consists of two or more persons and takes place in a private dwelling”.
Single adults who join up with another household for support are able to go inside someone’s home as if they lived together.
People will still be able to meet up in groups of six at the pub or in restaurants and residents have slammed the inconsistent rules which don’t let you go to another family’s home but encourages people to go out to eat as part of the Chancellor’s scheme.
People who live within areas with spikes of coronavirus also can’t head to friends or family’s homes in safer areas to meet up with them.
The rules add: “no person living in the protected area (with local lockdowns) may participate in a gathering which consists of two or more persons and takes place in a private dwelling… outside the protected area.”
The new rules also make it illegal to hold any gathering of more than 30 people in a public place to try and crack down on street parties.
But there are certain carve outs to make sure people aren’t isolated from their loved ones at emotional moments – including allowing people to visit their partners if they’re giving birth.
People will also be allowed to see loved ones if they are dying.
It means the sex ban the PM introduced nationally during the lockdown has been brought back in in the North – unless couples splash out for a hotel room.
The rules will have to be reviewed every 14 days – with the first set for August 19.
Anyone who breaks the rules could have to cough up £100 for a fine as well which could rise to as much as £3,200 for repeat offenders.
Coronavirus cases in Manchester have doubled in the last week as fears over a second wave have grown across the UK.
Infection rates for the week to last Thursday – when the new measures were introduced – show cases per 100,000 people still rising in every part of the conurbation.
Those in Manchester and Tameside have more than doubled in seven days, while Oldham’s infections remain the highest and the fastest-growing.
The city had 178 cases in the week ending July 31 – the biggest since May 24.
From July 22 to July 27, the infection rate in Manchester increased from 26.2 to 41.0.
Cases in Blackburn with Darwen have also continued to shoot up – and the local council has decided to bring in a new test and trace system specifically for the area after failures from the national service.