Covid: new travel advice for Greater Manchester and Lancashire in bid to tackle Delta variant

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that a “strengthened package of support” will be provided for the two regions

People have been told to “minimise travel” in and out of Greater Manchester and Lancashire as part of new Government guidance to tackle the number of Delta variant cases.

The new measures also say that people should meet outside where possible, get tested twice a week and continue to work from home.

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A woman wearing a face mask walks by a sign encouraging social distancing in a street in Blackpool, Lancashire (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that a “strengthened package of support” will be provided for the two regions.

It will include supervised in-school testing, rapid response teams and military support for the areas hardest hit by the variant.

Mr Hancock added that the Government faces a “challenging decision” over whether to lift remaining lockdown restrictions across England on June 21.

What Matt Hancock said

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham with vaccination centre staff and volunteers as he receives his second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination (PA)

He said: “I can tell the House that today, working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what’s happening in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there.

“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 Delta variant of Covid-19 was first identified in India.

It comes after former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said any delay to England’s road map for easing lockdown would only be for a couple of weeks owing to the success of the vaccination programme.

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