Measures mean people from different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Leicester cannot meet indoors
- What are the new lockdown rules in northern England?
- Full report: lockdown tightened in parts of northern England
- Matt Hancock defends last-minute lockdown
- Police cordons at Bournemouth beach amid fears of heatwave
- Global coronavirus updates – live
There was confusion following Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s morning interviews about whether households in the affected areas would be allowed to visit peoples’ homes outside the restricted zone.
The official guidance suggests this would illegal but Hancock initially suggested that it would be allowed as long as people adhered to social distancing, telling BBC Breakfast: “Strictly, the law that we’re bringing in is that two households cannot meet in the area defined but obviously any two households should follow the social distancing rules.”
Later on BBC Radio Manchester he suggested that visiting households outside the affected area was “against the advice” but suggested it would not be covered by law, saying there was a “distinction between the guidance and the law on this issue”.
However, this appears to be against the official advice published on Friday morning. The DHSC has been contacted for clarity.
Hancock appeared to struggle when pressed on the issue by BBC Radio Manchester presenter Becky Want, saying: “I’ll make it absolutely clear, which is that there’s a distinction between the guidance and the law. I will absolutely get back to you with the exact …” before his words became inaudible.
Asked four times whether a household in the affected area could visit someone who was not, he then said: “No because that is against the advice but the point I was making is about the specifics of the law, which is that this law applies to people who are in the affected area.”
The cost of buying a house shot up by 4,500 in July as the property market recovered quicker than expected since the end of lockdown.
Prices were up 1.7% compared to last month, and 1.5% higher than the same period the year before, according to a closely watched survey.
The Nationwide Building Society said that the average price of a home sold in the last month was 220,936, up from 216,403 in June.