Non-essential shops in Altrincham must close again after it was confirmed this afternoon that Greater Manchester is one of the areas being moved to Tier 4 level of restrictions.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed this afternoon that Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington, Lancashire, Cumbria and large parts of the North East, Midlands and the South West would be joining the large swathes of the south already under the highest level of coronavirus measures.
The change takes effect from 00.01 tonight.
It had been hoped that Greater Manchester would escape the latest tier review as its average infection rate stands at 190.9 per 100,000 people, for the week to December 25th. That’s well below the national average of 367.4.
But the rate has been increasing across most boroughs in the region – and in fact the rate in Trafford has grown 35% week-on-week and currently stands at 222.
But with the new, more transmissable strain of coronavirus leading to rapidly increasing rates across the country, Hancock has erred on the side of caution.
Under Tier 4 restrictions, non-essential retail will be forced to close, as well as nail bars, beauty salons and other spa services.
People in Tier 4 must not mix with other households indoors, but can meet with one person from another household outside.
Overnight stays are also not permitted, except for those within support bubbles.
Like in the two nationwide lockdowns, indoor gyms will once again be forced to close, but outdoor exercise facilities such as golf courses, outdoor gyms, riding centres, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools may remain open.
Communal worship can continue to take place.