OLDHAM is today on the brink of a local lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases among people in their 20s and 30s.
Locals have been told to “act now” to avoid Leicester-style restrictions just days after cops received 100 calls about people breaking rules to host parties over the weekend.
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The Greater Manchester town faces a strict lockdown “within days” after cases almost doubled in the past week.
Plans are being drawn up to close pubs, restaurants and gyms in the town unless infections fall.
Oldham is currently the worst-hit area in England for Covid-19.
The latest figures show there have been 255 cases – a rate of 107.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Just one week earlier there were 137 cases – a rate of 57.8 per 100,000.
The data, released by Oldham Council, also shows a significant number of the new cases were among younger people – particularly those in their twenties and thirties.
As it stands, residents aren’t able to meet people they do not live with inside a private home or garden – unless they have formed a support bubble.
They can’t visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside the affected areas.
Locals are still not allowed to socialise with other people in pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops or places of worship.
You need to act NOW. If everyone makes these small changes we can avoid a second lockdown – but there is no time to lose.”
The council warned: “To help halt the spread of Coronavirus, save lives and prevent a local lockdown, we need all Oldham residents and businesses to follow our new guidance.
“You need to act NOW. If everyone makes these small changes we can avoid a second lockdown – but there is no time to lose.
“The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to limit those who you have contact with – spend time with those in your household and work from home where possible. DO NOT have visitors to your home or garden.”
Councillor Arooj Shah, Cabinet member for coronavirus recovery, said the borough was in a really “serious” situation.
She said Greater Manchester Police received a hundred calls over the weekend with reports of locals breaking rules to host parties and BBQs in Oldham.
She added: “That’s just unacceptable.
“The responsibility for this lies with the people of Oldham to do what’s right for them, their families and their friends but also for the local economy.”
Greater Manchester Police said they received 1,106 reports of people flouting newly-imposed restrictions across the whole county last weekend.
Oldham also has England’s highest proportion of people who test positive out of the total number of those being tested, at five per cent.
Katrina Stephens, director of public health for Oldham council, warned there had been a second “sudden increase” in recent days.
Meanwhile residents in Pendle, in Lancashire, were urged to take a Covid-19 test, even if they were not showing any symptoms, after the area reported the highest number of cases in the country.
On Saturday, Preston was added to the areas where households are banned from mixing indoors and in gardens due to the rise coronavirus cases.
Tougher lockdown restrictions were reintroduced in Greater Manchester and other parts of northern England on July 31, following an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.
Anyone found flouting the rules could be fined £100 up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.
The restrictions must be reviewed every fortnight.