GREATER Manchester and Lancashire have been hit with new travel rules as a huge vaccination surge is launched to combat spiralling Covid cases.
People are being told to “minimise” travel in and out of the two areas, which are experiencing the sharpest rise in infections in the country.
The Army will be sent in to help with a huge new jabbing drive in a mirror of measures introduced in neighbouring Bolton last month.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the “strengthened package of support” for both council areas in the Commons today.
He said: “This includes rapid response teams, putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing.
“I want to encourage everyone in Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer.
“We know that this approach can work, we’ve seen it work in south London and in Bolton in stopping a rise in the number of cases.
“This is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Manchester and Lancashire and of course it’s vital that people in these areas, as everywhere else, come forward and get the jab as soon as they are eligible because that is our way out of this pandemic together.”
The PM’s spokesman added: “We want to provide the package of support that has been effective in Bolton, to a wider area.
Under the new rules people are urged to meet outside rather than at home and to keep two metres apart from those outside their household.
They should also “minimise travel in and out of affected areas” and keep working from home where possible.
Mask-wearing is also expected to be reintroduced in schools to help stop the spread of the virus among the young.
The new guidance is not legally binding and doesn’t mean the areas are being put back into a local lockdown.
It also applies in Bedford, Blackburn, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow, and North Tyneside.