Warnings of stricter lockdowns in Pendle and Oldham as coronavirus cases rise

Residents of two areas in the North West have been told they could face stricter lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 4:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 5:00 pm

Pendle in Lancashire and Oldham, Greater Manchester, were among the parts of the country where additional measures stopping people from meeting others at home or in indoor venues were brought in at the end of July.

But authorities in both areas say rates have continued to increase.

In Pendle, the council urged everyone to have a test, even if they were not showing any symptoms, after the area reported the highest number of cases in the country.

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Pedestrians wear facemasks as they walk through a pedestriansed street in Oldham, Greater Manchester (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Council leader Mohammed Iqbal said: “Coronavirus is spreading between households and within households so it’s really important that everyone follows these local measures.

“If we don’t, we’ll be heading for much stricter measures so please do all you can now to stop the virus spreading further.

“Stick to your household bubbles and do not have visitors to your home or visit people at their home.”

Councillor Nadeem Ahmed said: “We understand it’s hard for young people who may feel isolated from their friends.

“We’re appealing to you to follow these measures for a while longer so that the virus isn’t passed on to other members of your household who may be more vulnerable than you.”

Leaders in Oldham warned the area could face a local lockdown similar to the one imposed in Leicester, meaning the closure of services and businesses, if numbers continued to increase.

The council said figures for the week ending August 8 showed 255 new cases in Oldham, compared with 137 cases the week before.

Councillor Arooj Shah, deputy leader of Oldham Council, said: “We know people in Oldham have, on the whole, been behaving responsibly and abiding by the coronavirus restrictions.

“But coronavirus has not gone away – and rates are now rising. To avoid a second lockdown, there is no time to lose.

“We need everyone to act now and make changes to the way they live, to prevent strict lockdown restrictions being implemented in the coming days or weeks.

“Figures are showing us that cases are rising here in Oldham in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities.

“We are all at risk of this terrible virus and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and wider society by obeying this tougher guidance and acting responsibly.”