"I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many", UK health secretary Matt Hancock said as he delivered news of new area-specific restrictions today. The new Covid-19 rules for parts of the North West, the Midlands and West Yorkshire, including a ban on multiple households mixing and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, will come into force next week.
By means of justification, Hancock said: “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton. Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them."
As government data shows, over the pandemic so far, these areas have generally been the hardest hit in terms of cases. The North West currently has a rate of 876 confirmed cases per 100,000 population. The 'top-three' is completed by Yorkshire & The Humber and the North East with 757 and 720, respectively.