Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihul have been hit with local lockdown restrictions, with a ban on households meeting in place from Tuesday.
The three areas are now on the Government’s list for ‘areas of national intervention’ after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, announced tougher restrictions on Friday, with the agreement of the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock – who had been due to make the announcement.
The mayor said: ‘The following areas will now be escalated to an area of national intervention, with a ban on people socialising with people outside their own household.
‘The ban will take effect from Tuesday 15th September, but residents are advised to avoid household mixing before then as it has been identified as one of the drivers of transmission.’
The most recent data for the seven days to 7 September showed Birmingham had the second highest rate of new cases in the country – at 85.4 per 100,000 people.
Rates in Solihull and Sandwell have also soared, as the UK’s R Rate officially rises above 1 for the first time since early March.
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