13 Oct Coronavirus: Lockdown rules in high-risk areas may need to ‘go even further’, minister warns | Politics News
The government may need to “go even further” and introduce stricter measures to combat a rise in coronavirus cases in high-risk areas, a minister has told Sky News.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Kay Burley there was “a lot of work to do” in the fight against COVID-19 and “we’re going to be living with it for a long time to come”.
“We may have to go even further than what we’ve announced,” he warned, adding that the government wanted to “design those steps jointly between ourselves and local government”.
But there has been anger among some local leaders, with claims that Westminster has imposed restrictions without adequate consultation.
The move, which is set to come into force on Wednesday if MPs approve it later, is aimed at simplifying the range of different restrictions already in place.
The medium level will cover a significant part of England and includes the current national restrictions such as the “rule of six” and the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants.
The high level will see people prevented from socialising with other households indoors, although support bubbles will still be permitted.
In these areas, the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors in public spaces, as well as private gardens.
The very high alert level will see people banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens, while bars and pubs will be closed unless they can operate as restaurants.
Alcohol could be served in pubs operating as restaurants in these areas, but only as part of a meal.
Residents will also be advised against travelling in and out of these areas, while it will be up local politicians as to whether other leisure venues such as gyms and casinos should also close.
The Liverpool City Region is currently the only area in the very high alert level.
Most of those areas already living under local restrictions – such as Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the North East – will move into the high category, as will Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire, and a small area of High Peak.