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Lockdown could be 'relaxed in a few days' in the north

Lockdown could be ‘relaxed in a few days’ in the north as cases are ‘flattening’ says Manchester mayor Andy Burnham

  • Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire may see curbs lifted
  • Andy Burnham said there has been a ‘flattening’ in cases in the regions 
  • He said areas with low infection rates should have their restrictions relaxed 

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has suggested that coronavirus restrictions could be relaxed in the north ‘in a few days’.

Residents in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were ordered not to mix with other households in private homes or gardens on July 30.

The move by public health authorities was taken after contact tracing data showed the infection was being passed through people visiting each other, and that there was a spike in cases in the regions.

But, after viewing the figures, Andy Burnham said he was ‘hopeful’ that restrictions could soon be relaxed because cases are ‘flattening’.

Andy Burnham said that restrictions in the north could be lifted as cases begin to flatten

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: ‘Our cases are flattening – with one exception, Oldham – and we are starting to turn the tide in most of our boroughs.

‘The hope is, maybe, we will have a better time ahead of us.

‘I think the blanket approach will start to be undone – certain boroughs where the cases are lower will start to be released.’ 

He said the case for this action was ‘pretty much made’ and said boroughs with few cases, such as Wigan, may have their restrictions relaxed soon. 

According to data released by Public Health England, only two Greater Manchester boroughs are showing an upward trend in coronavirus infections – Oldham and Manchester.

Four million people in swathes of Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and West Yorkshire were banned from meeting people from different households indoors under new lockdown rules brought in on July 30 

Oldham has accounted for the highest rise in infections in the area, although its rate has now also fallen below 100.

For areas still seeing increasing infection rates, Andy Burnham warned that a full lockdown could be imposed in these areas which would be ‘profoundly damaging’. 

Data released by Public Health England shows that the North West still has the most cases in the country, at 49,904, followed by London, with 37,093, and the South East with 36,397.

The first local lockdown was declared in Leicester, which included measures for non-essential shops, restaurants and cafes, and pubs to close.

The restrictions remain in place, although they are due to be reviewed later today. 

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