Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough to move to Tier 2 lockdown

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Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will move to Tier 2 lockdown restrictions from 00:01am on Saturday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the areas will be put in the 'high' alert level amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

He told MPs: "Unfortunately, we're seeing rising rates of infection in Stoke-on-Trent, in Coventry and in Slough.

"In all of these areas, there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 people.

"Cases are doubling around every fortnight and we're seeing a concerning increase of cases among the over-60s.

"So we've agreed in partnership with local leaders to move these areas into the high local alert level, coming into force at one minute past midnight on Saturday."

The new restrictions mean people will not be able to mix indoors with anyone outside of their household or support bubble.

Mr Hancock told the Commons: "The central change is that people cannot now meet other households socially indoors.

"This applies in any setting, at home or in a restaurant or any other venue.

"The rule of six still applies to any outdoor setting and although you may continue to travel to open venues, you should reduce the number of journeys where possible."

Other areas currently in Tier 2 include London, Essex and York.

Mr Hancock also said Warrington may be moved into Tier 3.

He said: "We are also formally beginning discussions with Warrington about moving into the very high alert level due to a continuing rise in cases there."

Mr Hancock added: "I hope that with everybody supporting these measures and taking the actions that are necessary, we can keep these restrictions in place for as little time as possible.

"But I am absolutely convinced that we do need to make progress and what I have announced today is that we will formally start the talks and I hope that we can reach an agreement and a resolution soon."

Liverpool and Lancashire are currently in the highest level – Tier 3 – with Greater Manchester due to enter it on Friday, followed by South Yorkshire on Saturday.

Tan Dhesi, the Labour MP for Slough, posted on Facebook today: “Following my meeting this morning with Health Minister Nadine Dorries, and with the agreement of Slough Borough Council and Public Health, given the alarming rapid rise in Coronavirus cases, Slough will be going into Tier 2 (High) from tomorrow.

“I appreciate these measures will be difficult for many within the community, but please follow government guidance, so that we can protect our NHS, and the lives and livelihoods of our loved ones.”

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