A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester as coronavirus infection rates surge across “multiple localities”.
There have been particularly big spikes in Covid-19 cases in Manchester and Tameside and an ongoing steady rise in Oldham.
It comes after the Government announced on Thursday that different households in areas of east Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester would no longer be able to meet indoors amid fears in the rising number of cases.
Meetings of senior police, local authorities and other agencies have been taking place over the weekend.
Infection rates for the week to Thursday show cases per 100,000 people still rising in every part of the conurbation, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, chairman of the Local Resilience Forum, said the Strategic Coordination Group had met this weekend to discuss regulations in response to the new restrictions announced on Thursday.
He said: “Recognising that there are multiple localities across Greater Manchester seeing rises in infection rates, the group reviewed learning from other recent areas, including Leicester, and its own learning from across the partnership and have taken the decision to declare this a major incident in order to respond as effectively as possible.
“This will enable us to maximise the capability of agencies across Greater Manchester, including additional resources if required, to instigate a prompt and positive change in direction.
“It is part of our desire to protect the population of Greater Manchester and provide them with the highest levels of assurance that agencies are doing all they can to reduce infection rates and bring Greater Manchester back to as near a state of normality as current times allow.”