By Karim El-Bar
LONDON (AA) – British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday that over 2 million people in the north of England will be put under extended lockdown restrictions.
Those in Merseyside (which includes Liverpool), Warrington, and Teeside will no longer be able to mix in indoor settings with people outside their households, with this including pubs, bars, and restaurants.
Hancock said: “I understand how much of an imposition this is. I want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible, I’m sure we all do.
“Together we can crack this and the more people follow the rules and reduce their social contact, the quicker we can get Liverpool and the north-east back on their feet.”
Local politicians in the affected areas hit out at the government, saying they needed far more financial support, as well as more nuanced measures on a local level rather than blanket restrictions on whole areas.
Also on Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that those coming back from Turkey would have to self-isolate on return for two weeks.
“The latest data indicates we need to remove Turkey, Poland, and [the Dutch Caribbean islands of] Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba from the #TravelCorridor list this week,” he tweeted.
“This means if you arrive from these destinations from 4am Saturday 3 October, you will need to self-isolate.”
The government also announced that a further 6,914 people tested positive for coronavirus across the UK over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 460,178, while 59 more people died, bringing the country's COVID-19 death toll to 42,202.