Which coronavirus restrictions have been imposed or eased, and where?

Tougher Covid-19 restrictions have been announced for Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough aimed at curbing a rise in infection rates.

The measures will come into force on Saturday morning at one minute past midnight.

Elsewhere, stricter measures in Bolton will be eased to be in line with the rest of Greater Manchester.

HEALTH Coronavirus
HEALTH Coronavirus

Across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of Wales, there will be around 22.4 million people – 34% of the UK population – under some form of extra controls once all the new measures come into place.

But which areas are facing new restrictions and why?

– What new restrictions have been imposed?

The measures announced for the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough follow similar restrictions imposed in the North East earlier this week.

Social mixing between people in different households will be banned in all settings, except outdoor public spaces such as parks and outdoor hospitality.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said it is recommended that people do not attend professional or amateur sporting events as spectators.

He said it is recommended that people only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances, and there will be guidance against all but essential travel.

– Why have the new measures been introduced?

Mr Hancock told MPs the second peak in coronavirus infections was “highly localised” and in some areas it was “spreading fast”.

There are 268 cases per 100,000 people in Liverpool, he said.

– Does everyone welcome the restrictions?

Not quite. The elected mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston, said he was prepared to defy the Government and reject the new measures imposed on the town.

He is furious with the new rules which go further than he and his counterparts in Hartlepool had lobbied for earlier in the week.

Middlesbrough and Hartlepool councils had asked for a ban on households mixing in their own homes – but these rules reach wider than just the home.

– Where have restrictions been eased?

Mr Hancock said stricter measures in Bolton will be eased to be in line with the rest of Greater Manchester following pleas from local leaders to allow hospitality venues to open under the same conditions as the rest of the region, such as table service and a 10pm curfew.

Under measures announced last month, restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in Bolton were restricted to takeaway only, and all hospitality venues were required to close between 10pm and 5am.

– How many people are impacted by lockdown measures and is there any evidence that they work?

As local lockdowns come into force in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham in North Wales from 6pm on Thursday, more than a third of the UK population will be subject to some form of extra controls.

Mr Hancock said there were “early signs” that restrictions imposed in the past month were beginning to have an impact.

“We must not let up, but people everywhere can take some small hope that our efforts together may be beginning to work – I put it no stronger than that, cases are still rising,” he said.