The UK government has announced that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions will be increased in parts of the north-west, Midlands, and West Yorkshire from Tuesday, September 22. The restrictions in Lancashire (except Blackpool), Merseyside, Warrington, Wolverhampton, Bradford, and the Oadby and Wigston areas of Leicestershire will see people prohibited from socializing with members of other households in private residences or gardens unless part of a 'support bubble'. In Merseyside and Lancashire, pubs will also be required to close by 22:00 (local time) and residents have been advised to limit non-essential use of public transport.
The announcement of the new measures comes a day after restrictions were similarly tightened in areas of north-east England, including Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, and County Durham, following significant local increases in COVID-19 cases.
Many nationwide restrictions have been lifted in England, and the government is now focusing on using contact tracing to identify areas where the virus is spreading. However, infection rates have increased significantly over the last week to around 6000 new cases per day, prompting the government to limit social gatherings to six people from Monday, September 14. The wearing of face masks is mandatory in certain public areas, with fines for repeat offenders. Further information regarding the wearing of face masks in the UK can be found here.
The UK is also using infection rates in other countries to regularly make amendments to the list of countries that are exempt from a required 14-day self-isolation period on arrival in the UK. Countries from where quarantine is required vary for the four nations of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). A full list of countries where travelers arriving in England will be exempt from quarantine measures can be found here.
As of Friday, September 18, there have been 384,090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK with 41,794 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer