The lockdown rules will be relaxed in eight areas of northern England starting next Wednesday, September 2nd, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees will have more freedom to meet other people starting next week.
More than a million people in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been banned from meeting people from other households since July.
But those rules are now being repealed for those who live in all parts of the boroughs except Bradford City, Keighley, Halifax and Dewsbury and Batley in Kirklees.
Falling infection rates in these areas have led officials to relax restrictions to bring them in line with the rest of the country.
This means businesses like beauty salons, indoor play areas, bowling alleys and ice rinks can also open in these areas after they were held back when they reopened in the rest of the country on Aug. 15.
However, Leicester must remain closed for at least two weeks until September 11th. It was the first part of the UK to be banned and additional rules have now been in place for two months.
Today's announcement follows a meeting of the Joint Biosecurity Center's Gold Command chaired by Secretary of Health Matt Hancock yesterday.
Birmingham, touted as the next area to be touted for facing the dreaded rules, has escaped government action, but officials have raised serious concerns about the nearby Sandwell district as well as Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock chaired a Gold Command meeting yesterday to discuss further action in hard-hit areas. The Ministry of Health announced the results of the meeting today
Trafford will be one of the areas of Greater Manchester exempt from local lockdown rules. Pictured: A main street in the town of Altrincham in Trafford
"We have taken steps to protect the people of these parts of northern England and I would like to thank the residents who have worked so hard to get this virus under control," Matt Hancock said today.
& # 39; We are seeing the positive results of our local approach and are increasingly able to take targeted action. It is important that we can keep up this good progress. & # 39;
In the areas where the rules are being relaxed, two households can now be mixed indoors or outdoors, in accordance with social distancing rules that still apply nationwide.
It is falling infection rates that have encouraged officials to loosen the rules and free residents from city-specific lockdowns.
For example, in Burnley, the number of cases decreased from 52 per 100,000 for the week ending August 13 to 24.6 per 100,000 for the week ending August 20.
In Bolton, the infection rate fell from 25.6 to 18.9, in Stockport from 23 to 15.1 and in Trafford from 27.1 to 17.8.
A report from Public Health England shows that Pendle and Oldham, who remain on bans, have the highest infection rates in the country, with 67 cases per 100,000 each.
Blackburn with Darwen is the only other area with a rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 (52.4), while Leicester ranks fourth with 49.5.
The North and Midlands are the only parts of England that have so far been affected by local lockdowns.
Birmingham almost imposed stricter restrictions this week, but made a "remarkable" turn in its fortune and kept the cases under control.
England's second city, home to 1.1 million people, became an "enhanced support" area last week after recording an infection rate of over 30 per 100,000.
However, additional testing and legal powers to combat companies that fail to comply have brought the infection rate down to 24.6 per 100,000.
The area's Conservative Mayor Andy Street called Birmingham's efforts "remarkable", while Labor Council Chairman Ian Ward said the city was "going in the right direction".
Another city that is not doing too well is Stoke-on-Trent, which was put on the PHE watchlist for the first time this week. It's the only new addition to the list.
Cases there rose from 21.1 per 100,000 to 31.7 within a week – an increase of 50 percent.
The city of Staffordshire is now a declared "concern" and will be watched closely over the next week to see if officials need to make additional efforts to eradicate the virus.
Areas that receive additional government support usually have mobile swab testing devices in place to help people get tested more quickly.
In Pendle, where infections are highest at 67.8 per 100,000, 345 people per 100,000 are tested daily to find all sources of infection.
This is similar to the Birmingham unblocked, with 104 tests per 100,000 per day with an infection rate of 24.6 cases per 100,000.
The Director of Public Health in Lancashire, Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi, confirmed the news that Burnley (pictured) and Hyndburn would be removed from lockdown, but warned residents that lifting additional restrictions "should not create complacency".
PHE data released last week showed the infection rate in Hyndburn (pictured in Accrington, the borough's capital) was 42.1, one of the highest rates in the country
SYMPTOM TRACKING APP NAMES SEVEN NEW CORONAVIRUS HOTSPOTS IN ENGLAND & WALES
Seven new coronavirus hotspots in the north of England and Wales were reported today by the Covid Symptom Tracker app, which uses test data and self-reported symptoms from more than three million people.
The mobile app, operated by King & # 39; s College London, has flagged South Tyneside, Oldham, Redcar and Cleveland, Wirral, Bradford, Barnsley and Denbighshire as potential problem areas.
The team looked for hotspots of the disease, listing South Tyneside, Blackpool and Oldham as the worst hit areas, each with over one in 500 infected.
Blackpool and fourth and fifth-placed Halton and Manchester were on last week's list, but seven of the ten worst hit were newcomers.
Places that were on last week's list but no longer a cause for concern included Rochdale, Dundee, Nottingham, Blackburn, and Salford.
Data from the Covid Symptom Tracker app run by King & # 39; s College London has selected seven new potential coronavirus hotspots based on local test data and self-reported symptoms from some 3.9 million users in the UK (Image: areas highlighted in red were added to the hotspot list this week, while the gray ones were already on the list and continue to be risk areas.
Project Leader Professor Tim Spector said, “Although we are still a long way from returning to normal life, the measures currently in place appear to be keeping this low level of Covid in most populations, which is good news.
“Until we have a vaccine, however, we will continue to walk along that knife edge, with the ever-present risk of cases recurring.
"Although these local outbreaks are more common in the north of England, we are not seeing these small local outbreaks spreading any further."
& # 39; You seem to be well controlled. While the official number of confirmed cases in the UK is slowly increasing, this may be due to increased and more efficient testing. & # 39;
The app's watchlist is an unofficial watch where people report themselves with the disease, while Public Health England publishes an official one every Friday that currently includes 28 locations.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages