Covid-19: England and Wales begin tougher rules for millions

Stricter coronavirus rules are coming into force for nearly six million Britons on Friday.

Greater Manchester’s population of 2.8 million joined Liverpool City Region and Lancashire in England’s highest tier of restrictions at midnight.

And from 18:00 BST, the 3.1 million people in Wales will have to stay at home as a 17-day national “firebreak” lockdown begins.

The UK recorded another 189 deaths and 21,242 new confirmed cases on Thursday.

South Yorkshire will also move into tier three restrictions from 00:01 on Saturday, bringing the total number of people living under England’s tightest rules to more than seven million.

The tier three, “very high”, alert level means pubs and bars will be closed – unless they are serving substantial meals – along with casinos, bingo halls, betting shops and soft play centres.

Households are banned from mixing outdoors in private gardens or anywhere inside and people are advised against travelling into or out of the area.

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