| Last updated
People from different households in Greater Manchester will no longer be able to meet indoors, the UK government has announced.
Parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire are also affected.
Following spikes in the number of cases of Covid-19, lockdown measures in the region have been tightened.
Speaking about the decision, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing.
"So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.
"We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of Covid across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe."
He added: "We're constantly vigilant and we've been looking at the data and unfortunately we've seen across parts of Northern England an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus.
"So today I held a meeting of the Government's Gold Committee and working with local leaders including for instance Andy Burnham the mayor of Greater Manchester, we've decided that we need to action across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.
"So from midnight tonight (Friday) we are banning households meeting up indoors."
The places affected by the changes are:
The same restrictions will continue to apply to the city of Leicester, which re-entered lockdown on 30 June.
Reacting to the news, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he agreed with the decision taken by the government and he hoped it would improve the situation in the region.
He said: "Over recent days, there has been a marked change in the picture across Greater Manchester with regard to the spread of Covid-19.
"We have gone from a falling rate of cases in nearly all of our boroughs last week to a rising rate in nine out of ten, affecting communities across a much wider geography.
"In Rochdale, the one borough where cases have fallen, they are still too high.
"We have always said that we will remain vigilant and be ready to respond quickly should the need arise. In line with that approach, I have agreed with the Health Secretary that it is right to act on the precautionary principle and introduce modest measures now to bring down the rate of new infections.
"I ask all Greater Manchester residents - young and old alike - to protect each other by observing these new requirements.
"They will be reviewed weekly; meaning the more we stick to them, the quicker they will be removed.
"This is a place which prides itself on looking out for each other. We now need to be true to that by not acting selfishly and keeping the health of others in mind at all times."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: UK News
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read