Greater Manchester Declares Major Incident After Rise In Coronavirus Infections

The move is so emergency services can "respond as effectively as possible".

Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.

A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester due to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities”, just days after the government announced new lockdown restrictions for parts of north-west England.

The decision means the readiness of emergency and public services to respond to the escalating Covid-19 transmission rate in the region has been upped so they can “respond as effectively as possible”.

It does not mean there are any further changes to lockdown rules, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Combined Authority said.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced late on Thursday that as of Friday, people from different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire would be banned from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.

The new rules also banned members of two different households from mixing in pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues, but those businesses are permitted to remain open for those visiting individually or from the same household.

Assistant chief constable Nick Bailey, chairman of the Local Resilience Forum in Greater Manchester, said the Strategic Coordination Group met this weekend to discuss regulations in response to last week’s announcement.

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.”


It comes on the same day it was reported Boris Johnson is mulling lockdown-like conditions for London and asking the elderly to shield once again as part of plans for avoiding a second national lockdown.

The PM has ordered preparations to be made should there be a significant rise in the number of new coronavirus infections, The Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times said.

But Downing Street sources distanced themselves from the detail in the reports, calling them “speculative”.

And on Sunday morning, housing secretary Robert Jenrick when asked about whether new age-related measures were likely, told Times Radio: “This is just speculation.

“You would expect the government to be considering all of the range of options that might be available.

“That’s not something that is being actively considered.”


What's Hot