8 millions Britons face second covid-19 lockdown as UK battles virus resurgence
London, Sep. 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Almost eight million Britons will be subjected to tighter lockdown restrictions next week after fresh measures were imposed in the West Midlands and Scotland.
There have been about 360,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 41,000 people have died, government figures show.
The government announced 3,539 new cases on Friday, the highest figure since 17 May.
The rise in cases has prompted the government to reintroduce new restrictions on social gatherings in England – banning groups of more than six people meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors from 14 September, with some exceptions.
Daily confirmed cases began edging up again in July – after falling significantly from their April peak – as lockdown restrictions imposed in March were eased.
From Tuesday, households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull will be banned from mixing after the region reported a surge in coronavirus cases.
Further north, Lanarkshire joins areas around Glasgow subject to tougher controls, with the new rules in force as of midnight on Friday.
It comes as nine new local authorities were added to Public Health England’s watchlist – meaning they, too, could soon see new restrictions imposed.
The nine at-risk areas are: Gateshead, Sunderland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Hertsmere, Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, Sheffield and St Helens.
Some 5.8 million people in England (one in 10) will be forced to follow tougher rules than the rest of the country, when the new measures take effect in the West Midlands, according to analysis by Sky News.
Designated areas in Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Greater Manchester where restrictions are already in place remain as areas of national intervention, the Department of Health confirmed.
In addition, around 1.76 million (one in three) people are set to be under stricter rules in Scotland.
Restrictions in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire were continued for a further week on Monday, having first been introduced on September 1.
Meanwhile 181,000 (one in 20) residents are affected in Wales after a local lockdown was imposed in Caerphilly on Tuesday evening.
This takes the UK total to 7.8 million. ES