Thanks to those constituents who have written to me about the local lockdown that was announced for Greater Manchester at 9pm on 30th July, to begin on 31st July.
We must now abide by the local restrictions by avoiding social contact with people who do not live in our household.
As outbreaks of coronavirus have been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire, the Government has announced these local restrictions to control the spread of the virus.
This means that:
- You must not meet people you do not live with, inside or in a private garden
- You must not visit anyone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas
- You must not socialise with people you do not live with in pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops and places of worship (places of worship and other settings with strict COVID secure arrangements will remain open)
- If you have a support bubble (which must include a single adult who lives alone or a single parent with children under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household
- Up to two households (or six people from a number of households) may meet outdoors in public space with social distancing (not in gardens)
- The easing of lockdown measures that were due to take effect from 1 August have now been delayed until 15 August
- If you run a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance
- You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside of your household unless it is part of a school or work bubble
- You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances
There is no set period for the new restrictions, the Government will review the situation in 1 week.
I believe it is right to take local action to reduce the spread of coronavirus when we have seen local spikes. However, the Government has acted irresponsibly by announcing these at 9pm the night before when it has potential implications our lives, work and Eid plans. I have been sharing up-to-date advice on my Twitter, and was pleased that those mosques already COVID-19 secure were not affected by the changes in restrictions, enabling communal Eid al-Adha prayers to go ahead as planned. The Muslim Council of Britain shared some useful guidance on celebrating Eid al-Adha safely.
I share the concerns constituents have raised that these measures seem poorly evidenced since the Government has failed to deliver the track and trace system that should be working to locate spikes. I can assure you that my Labour colleagues and I will continue to hold the Government to account on their promises on the test and trace system.
I will continue to follow the situation closely. As this situation is moving very quickly, please do follow my Twitter account for my updates.