Coronavirus infection rates across parts of Greater Manchester are continuing to spike as the region enters a new phase of lockdown measures.
The most up to date figures show that cases are still increasing in the city of Manchester and Stockport, in the week ending July 29.
Targeted lockdown measures were implemented across Greater Manchester at midnight on Thursday, following a concerning rise in the infection rate.
People in Greater Manchester have been banned from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens, and households can no longer mix inside pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues.
There were 168 positive cases of Covid-19 in the city of Manchester in the week ending July 29 – the biggest number since May 25.
The infection rate in Manchester on July 29 was 30.7, which has nearly doubled since July 22, when it was at 15.9.
Meanwhile, in Stockport, the infection rate is continuing to spike, with 61 cases in the same week – the largest number since May 27.
There are 20.9 cases per 100,000 people in Stockport, compared to 8.2 on July 22. The rate has jumped by 4.1 in just two days.
The number of cases in Tameside is also increasing, with a jump from a rate of 10.7 on July 22, to 19.5 on July 29. From July 27 to 29 alone, the rate rose by 3.1.
Trafford and Oldham had seen particularly sharp spikes in the infection rate, but this appears to have levelled off in the past two days.
Public Health Officials in Trafford believe the rise is concentrated to the south of the borough, around Hale and Altrincham.
From July 22 to July 27, the infection rate increased from 26.2 to 41.0. Between July 27 and July 29, that rate fell to 36.
Oldham’s rate soared from 38.6 to 55.2 between July 22 and July 27. That number has now fallen slightly to 54.7.
Anywhere with a rate over more than 50 cases per 100,000 is rated ‘red’ by the government in its assessment of the numbers.
The infection rate in Rochdale is continuing to fall, after a number of targeted measures were brought in earlier this month.
In the week ending July 29, the rate was 25.9, which is down significantly from 47.3 on July 22.
Wigan, Bolton, and Bury have not seen spikes in the same way other boroughs have – but are still subject to the new lockdown rules.
In two days, Bury saw a reduction in cases, with the infection rate falling from 16.8 on July 27, to 14.7 on July 29.
The infection rate in Salford has risen very steadily from 16.1 on July 22, to 21.6 in the week ending July 29.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham said he and local leaders have been regularly monitoring the rate of infection across the region this week.
He said the data, which shows an increase in cases in nine out of the ten boroughs, warranted further restrictions to be introduced.
But he criticised the government’s communication strategy, with several million people being informed of the new rules via Twitter.
“We have been regularly monitoring the rate of infection across Greater Manchester. This week, things changed significantly with an increase in those testing positive for Covid-19 in nine out of the ten boroughs,” he said.
“We agree with the government that this provides a clear evidential basis for modest restrictions to be introduced to get the rate of infection down and down faster.
“We would strongly recommend that, where any future announcements of this nature are to be made, full supporting details should be available to the public at the moment any public or media statement is made.”
Mr Burnham had called on the government to clarify how the new rules would work for hospitality venues with outdoor seating.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that meeting another household in pub gardens or outdoor restaurant space is now allowed under the new restrictions.
Now the official guidance has been updated to confirm Mr Hancock was wrong.
It now states: “You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces including outdoor seating or beer gardens in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group includes only people from 2 households.”