Coronavirus: Bolton restrictions were tightened as cases increased

Rise in UK Covid-19 ‘concerning’ but not out of control – Hancock

Rise in UK Covid-19 ‘concerning’ but not out of control – Hancock

The announcement came after ministers and government advisers expressed concern about "sharp growth" across the United Kingdom, especially among young people.

"The best way to do that is to limit the number of contacts people have".

Johnson's government also unveiled a new public information campaign entitled "Hands".

"We want to set out very clearly for everybody - so that everybody has the chance to see these rules, read them and then to follow them, and that's why it will come into force on Monday".

The daily number of cases of COVID-19 jumped on Sunday to 2,988, the highest daily rise since May.

More than 41,500 people confirmed to have coronavirus have died in Britain, the worst toll in Europe.

But he added he "hoped" lockdown could be avoided, saying: "The number of cases is largely driven by people socialising".

He said the police had asked for simpler rules, clarity and strong enforcement powers.

Current guidelines stipulate that people must not socialise outside in a group of more than six people from different households.

From Monday, this will be reduced to six, except for large families, weddings, funerals, organised team sports, workplaces and educational settings.

"You are eligible for a test if you have symptoms of coronavirus or if you have a very specific reason otherwise".

The UK government, which controls health policy in England, imposed tougher restrictions on Bolton, near the northwest city of Manchester, after a "very significant rise" in cases.

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The health secretary said the rise in cases in Bolton is "partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s".

In addition to limiting hospitality venues, Mr Hancock said visitors to Bolton's care homes would also be limited.

Hancock said the government is "going to bring more clarity and we're going to enforce the rules more strictly".

It has encouraged people to go back to work and use a government-subsidised restaurant scheme to boost revenues for eateries hit hard by the shutdown.

He singled out young people in their twenties and thirties, as well as pubs, for spreading the virus.

Hancock warned that although younger people were less likely to develop serious forms of Covid-19, they could easily pass it to those more vulnerable, particularly the elderly.

Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, told Sky News: "This is a virus we're going to have to live with - and if we're not careful, if we don't take this incredibly seriously from this point on, we're going to have a bumpy ride over the next few months".

"People have relaxed too much", he noted. "Now is the time for us to re-engage and realize that this is a continuing threat to us".

From Monday, it will become illegal to gather in groups of more than six people in England except for certain situations, as authorities try to get a grip on the sharp rise in newly recorded infections.

"We can see the epidemic is taking off again".

But he would not rule out a return to lockdown, saying: "I wouldn't make a vow like that".

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