The UK government has announced further restrictions for parts of England — including in the country’s northwest, West Yorkshire and Midlands — to tackle rising Covid-19 infection rates.
Residents in these areas will be banned from socialising with people outside of their household and “support bubble.”
In the northwest, specifically in Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire, hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service, while restaurants, pubs and cinemas will be required to close by 10 p.m.
These measures do not apply to Bolton or Greater Manchester where separate restrictions are already in place.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said these areas had seen “cases of coronavirus rise fast,” and that the government was acting to support local leaders, who had “asked for stronger restrictions.
“I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission,” Hancock said Friday.
England has reported 329,213 coronavirus cases overall, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
The United Kingdom has officially reported more than 41,000 fatalities from the pandemic, the fifth-highest death toll in the world.