Second wave? UK tightens confinement in the north of the country

A woman wears a protective mask while waiting for the bus in Manchester, UK. July 31, 2020. REUTERS / Phil Noble (PHIL NOBLE /)

LONDON, Jul 31 (Reuters) – The UK imposed stricter containment on swaths of northern England after an increase in the transmission rate of the new coronavirus, raising fears of a second wave of the virus.

On Thursday, the United Kingdom reported the highest number of new COVID-19 infections in more than a month, as ministers expressed fear of a second wave of cases in Europe and warned that more quarantine restrictions could be imposed on arrivals of other countries.

The government ordered about 4 million people not to mingle with other homes in Greater Manchester, the largest city in the north of England, and parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, though they can still go to pubs and work. .

“The problem with this virus is that it proliferates with social contact that makes life worthwhile,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky. “I fully understand the human impact of this situation, but unfortunately this is how the virus is transmitted.”

“We can see that second wave in Europe,” said Hancock.

When asked by the BBC if the UK was entering a second wave, Hancock said: “It is not yet and we are absolutely determined to take the necessary steps.”

The authorities have asked the inhabitants of the affected areas not to associate with other homes in their houses or gardens, or to meet other homes in pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship or entertainment.

However, people are allowed to attend a pub, church, or mosque with members of their own home. Those who break the rules will face a £ 100 fine.

Official data on Thursday showed 846 new positives in the UK, the highest number of daily infections since June 28.

(Information from Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; translated by Tomás Cobos)