Thu. May 13th, 2021

A quarter of the UK’s population will be under some sort of local lockdown by this weekend after new restrictions were announced for two million more people in Northern England.

The Health Secretary for England, Matt Hancock, said the disease was “spreading fast” in some areas and was “highly localised”. He described the new rules as challenging but necessary.

The latest areas affected are Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. In some areas there are around 9 times as many cases as the average across England.

The new restrictions mean it will be against the law to mix with other households whether at home, in a garden or in a pub or a cafe. People who flout the rules could face heavy fines.

There’s also guidance not to mix with other households in pub gardens, parks or at sporting events.

There are calls tonight for the Scottish Nationalist MP Margaret Ferrier to resign, after she admitted travelling by train from Scotland to London after developing Covid symptoms, and then returning home after testing positive. Nicola Sturgeon described her actions as “utterly indefensible” Margaret Ferrier has been suspended by the SNP.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Ed Thomas in Liverpool, Fiona Trott in Middlesbrough and political correspondent Nick Eardley.

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