UK government criticised for last-minute lockdowns in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire areas

31st July 2020   •   article

by Barfi Culture Team | Twitter: @barfi_culture.
The UK Department of Health announced last night that stricter lockdown restrictions were being imposed in Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire from midnight.

Separate households are banned from meeting each other indoors, just as Muslim families across the region gear up to celebrate Eid Al-Adha today.

The abrupt announcement was criticised by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who tweeted:

The last minute order covers:

All of Greater Manchester: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan

East Lancashire: Pendle, Hyndburn, Burnley, Rossendale and Blackburn with Darwen

West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees

The city of Leicester.

Keir Starmer told Sky News this morning: "For all the bluster, government has failed to deliver a functioning track and trace system that would spot local flare-ups like these."

Amina Lone, Director at the Social Action and Research Foundation, said this morning: "With respect Matt Hancock the timing, the platform, the lack of understanding of local communities, the inconsistency & seemingly contradictory rules re latest lockdown is eroding faith & trust in government."

Local restrictions

This is what the government website says on what people are not allowed to do:

  • meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).

  • visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.

  • socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

  • The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).

    More information here.
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