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COVID-19 lockdown restrictions back in some major cities

Police forces have begun enforcing a series of local COVID-19 lockdowns with public health officials saying more could be imposed over the next few days.

The coronavirus crackdown in areas including Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire will see people from different households banned from meeting in a private home or garden, following a spike in cases.

It follows 670 new cases across the country.

Restrictions have been re-imposed in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Leicester. According to the health secretary, people have not been keeping to social distancing.

Lancashire County Council’s director of public health has also warned that Preston could be the next place to brought back under the legislation after 49 cases were reported in rural villages as well as urban areas.

City Council chief executive Adrian Phillips said: “We are not waiting for some Government announcement. We know our rates are increasing and they have increased over the last week to a level now where we are concerned that we could face Government intervention.”

He added: “Covid has not gone away and it is us all taking that message on board and making sure that we don’t relax our guard too much.”

Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said the decision by a nightclub in the city to re-open had not helped.

Greater Manchester Police urged the public to only report significant breaches of the lockdown laws so not to stretch resources.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: "We are working with community leaders and partners with our response to any breaches. I would also urge the public to look out for each other, as we have seen across Greater Manchester throughout the pandemic, particularly those who are most vulnerable at this time."

Fresh restrictions have already been imposed in Scotland and the police have pledged to take action against anyone breaking them.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr: "It’s really important that people follow the instructions and guidance from the Scottish Government. To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where local restrictions have been reintroduced.”

He added that as before, officers would be following the ‘four Es’ guidance to ensure the enforcement action was taken fairly.

“Our approach to these local restrictions will reflect the consistent approach taken by Police Scotland since the outset of this pandemic, and our officers will continue to engage, educate and encourage people to comply, as we all support the public health efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

“As a national service, Police Scotland is able to quickly flex capacity to support local communities across the country, and we will provide whatever additional resources are necessary to protect and support the communities affected.”

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