Much of the north could face a ‘total social lockdown’ which would see pubs and restaurants ordered to close for a fortnight.
The new emergency coronavirus measures are being considered by the government following spikes in the number of cases across northern Britain, The Times reports.
People in Greater Manchester are already barred from visiting friends and family in their homes or gardens and are advised not to socialise with anyone from outside their household or bubble in any public place, under measures introduced in late August.
Under the plans schools would stay open as would shops, factories and offices at which staff could not work from home.
Social lockdown was among options presented to the cabinet’s Covid-19 strategy committee before last week’s new restrictions were imposed, The Times reports, but fearing a backlash a group of six ministers, led by Boris Johnson, held it back.
The emergency plans have reportedly been drawn up up after local restrictions imposed on hotspots across much of the north – including Greater Manchester – and parts of the Midlands failed to reverse surge in infections.
Every borough in Greater Manchester is currently on the government’s ‘Red Alert’ list with the infection rate in Bolton, which as of Saturday, September 26, stood at 235.1 cases per 100,000 people, among the highest in the country.
Merseyside, the north east and Lancashire could see the new measures imposed as early as this week, The Times reports, if the infection rate continues to spike.
And London, which has seen infection rates rise in several boroughs, could also soon face similar restrictions
News – Ministers ‘preparing total social lockdown plan’ for north with pubs shut