Coronavirus: More than a quarter of UK under stricter rules


More than a quarter of the UK population is set to be under coronavirus lockdown rules, as new measures come into force this weekend.

From Saturday in England, households in Leeds, Wigan, Stockport and Blackpool will be banned from mixing in each other’s homes or gardens.

In Wales, Llanelli became subject to new rules at 18:00 BST, with Cardiff and Swansea to follow 24 hours later.

It comes as the rate at which the virus is spreading appears to be speeding up.

There have been 6,042 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, according to the latest government figures – and 34 deaths among those who tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 28 days.

It marks the fourth consecutive day that new infections across the UK have topped 6,000.

Scotland recorded 714 cases on Saturday, 156 more than on Friday and its highest number of cases confirmed in a single day since the start of the outbreak.

Meeting another household indoors has been banned across the whole of Scotland since Wednesday.

In Northern Ireland, 319 new cases have set a new daily record, up from Friday’s 273. However mass testing was not available during the spring, when deaths were at their peak.

Wales reported 370 new cases on Saturday.

The R number – which indicates how many people someone with coronavirus infects – has risen in the last week and is now estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.5. A number above 1 means the virus is spreading within the community.

The daily number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK as a whole reached a record high of 6,874 on Friday, government figures showed.

In England, the “rule of six” and a 22:00 closing time for pubs and restaurants applies nationally.

But extra restrictions are also in place in large parts of north-east and north-west England, West Yorkshire and the Midlands where the infection rate is higher.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
People in Leeds respond to the tighter rules

The latest rules for Leeds, Wigan, Stockport and Blackpool came into force at midnight and ban different households from mixing inside private homes or gardens.

Support bubbles are not affected and friends and family can still provide informal childcare for children under 14.

People are also advised not to socialise with people they do not live with in any other settings, including bars, shops and parks.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was clear people had not been self-isolating if they had symptoms.

“What we have got to do is make it reasonable for people,” she said.

“We are very conscious of the emotional toll on people and mental health issues that will follow. And of course, it is a very different prospect going into winter, going into spring with light nights and good weather was one thing, going into winter I think is going to be very tough for people.”

She added she was concerned about the situation at the universities in the city. “We have put a testing site into Leeds University, on the campus,” she said. “We keep saying to the government we have not got enough community testing.”

On Saturday, Wales – where the R number is between 0.7 and 1.2 – saw its first town-only lockdown, with people in Llanelli in Carmarthenshire banned from leaving town or mixing indoors with anyone outside of their household.

The same rules will be brought in for Wales’ two biggest cities – Cardiff and Swansea – at 18:00 on Sunday. People will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse, the Welsh government has said.

It means by the end of the weekend, about half of Wales’ population will be under lockdown – 1.5 million people.

And the total number of people across the UK living under stricter rules will stand at 17 million.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people in Cardiff to behave as if the new restrictions are in place until they come into force on Sunday. “My experience is people are wanting to do the right thing,” he told LBC.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething told Today restrictions were more focused on transmission in the home than the pub.

“We have good evidence it is contact in people’s homes that is driving it primarily. That is then leaking into other areas where people have contact, including licensed premises,” he said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he recognised “the burden and impact these additional measures have on our daily lives but we must act collectively and quickly to bring down infections”.

It comes as London was added to the government’s Covid-19 watch-list – with all boroughs classed as areas of concern.

Meanwhile, up to 1,700 students at Manchester Metropolitan University have been told to self-isolate for two weeks in their student halls, after a spate of positive tests for Covid-19.

In a bid to stop the virus spreading in Scotland, students have been told not to socialise with anyone outside of their accommodation or go to pubs, parties or restaurants this weekend.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland people are banned from visiting other households indoors, although groups of up to six may still meet outside.

In other developments:

How are the rules affecting you? Share your experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

Story appeared first at

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

Love It Love It
Love It
Hate It Hate It
Hate It
Wow Wow
Sad Sad
agree agree
disagree disagree
confused confused
lol lol
omg omg


FiWEH Community

Create a post and share your stories, videos, polls, trending lists, photos, memes and more with us!

Choose A Format
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
The Classic Internet Listicles
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Photo or GIF
Upload your own images to make custom memes