Oldham brings in tougher coronavirus restrictions after more than 100 cases in a WEEK

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TOUGH coronavirus rules are being enforced in Oldham in a bid to avoid a Leicester-style local lockdown after a “dramatic” spike in cases.

The area has been hit with more than 100 infections in a week just days after being removed from the government’s “watch-list of areas of concern”.

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The ramped-up restrictions – being introduced today – include a ban on “social visitors” in the home.

Oldham’s 250,000 locals have also been told they must keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside.

Vulnerable and elderly people already shielding are now being asked to continue to do so for another two weeks starting from Friday.

Oldham Council say a “significant proportion” of recent cases involve multiple people testing positive in a single household.

Officials have pinned the rise on large families all living together in one home spreading it from one another.

The area recorded 119 new cases of coronavirus in the seven days to July 25 – compared to 26 positive new cases from the previous week.

This means Oldham has a rate of infection of 50.2 positive tests per 100,000 people.

It was just 10.2 the week before as the government dropped the borough from its “watch-list”.

As a result of the surge in cases, locals are now being urged to stay home wherever possible to avoid a Leicester-style local lockdown.

Leicester went back into lockdown on June 30 after a spike in infections, with all non-essential retail stores closed as well as hospitality venues which reopened in the rest of the UK on July 4.

Oldham Deputy council leader and cabinet member for Covid-19 recovery Arooj Shah said: “We know that people across Oldham desperately want to see their friends and family, and get back to normal.

“But these restrictions are essential if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus and prevent a strict local lockdown being put in place, as we have seen elsewhere in the country.”

The move follows similar restrictions in Blackburn after an alarming spike in cases.

Blackburn and Darwen Council called on locals to “elbow bump” with anyone outside of their immediate family and imposed a limit of two people from the same household allowed to visit another home.

It come as cases soared in the area, with 61 new cases appearing in the week before the restrictions were imposed.

 

 

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