July 30, 2020 / 9:03 PM / in 9 days

UK tightens lockdown in parts of Northern England

A woman wearing a face mask walks in Oldham, as the town faces local restrictions in an effort to avoid a local lockdown being forced upon the area amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Britain July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said late on Thursday that the COVID-19 lockdown in parts of Northern England will be tightened, owing to an increasing rate of transmission in these areas.

"So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas," Hancock said bit.ly/2D3CSye on Twitter.

The areas include Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Britain reported its highest number of new COVID-19 infections in more than a month, as ministers fretted about a second wave of cases in Europe and warned more quarantine restrictions were possible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said COVID-19 was under some measure of control in Britain, but a resurgence in some European countries showed the pandemic was not over.

Official data on Thursday showed 846 new positive tests in Britain - the highest number of daily infections since June 28.

Earlier, Hancock said that the number of coronavirus cases in Britain is no longer falling and is at best flat.

“I am worried about a second wave. I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe, and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores, and to tackle it,” Hancock said during an interview on Sky News.

Separately, on Thursday, Britain extended its self-isolation period for people who test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 to 10 days from seven.

Reporting by Juby Babu and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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