Coronavirus restrictions are being tightened in parts of the West Midlands, including Birmingham, with households no longer allowed to mix.
It is the latest of a number of areas to have local lockdowns put in place as cases increase.
Which areas are under lockdown?
As of 11 September, parts of north-west England, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Leicester, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are under local lockdown.
- People living in Lanarkshire will not be able to meet other households indoors from 00:01 BST on Saturday
- Households in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell will not be allowed to mix, from Tuesday 15 September
- People in Ballymena town, the Belfast council area and certain Northern Irish postcodes are not allowed to go to each other’s homes
- People in Caerphilly county are being told not to leave without good reason and should not meet indoors with anyone outside their household
- In parts of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire people cannot meet anyone outside their own household, or support bubble, in an indoor venue
- People in Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle should not meet anyone from outside their household outdoors
- In Bolton, there are visitor limits on care homes, while hospitality venues will only be able to serve takeaways and must close between 22:00 and 05:00
- In Leicester, people cannot meet someone from another household in an indoor public venue. However, they can meet other households outside
- People living in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire are banned from meeting people from another household inside their home
How long do local lockdowns last?
Local lockdowns are regularly reviewed and when the number of infections falls, the restrictions start to be eased again.
Restrictions in Aberdeen have now been lifted, while two households can now meet indoors again in Stockport, Burnley, Hyndburn and some parts of Bradford and Kirklees.
Why are there local lockdowns?
In a bid stop local coronavirus outbreaks, areas with high infection rates can be locked-down, or have extra restrictions introduced.
This could mean locking down a hospital or factory, or even a whole city.
Local authorities in England have powers to:
- Close specific premises (such as shops, cafes and gyms)
- Shut outdoor spaces (such as parks, playgrounds and beaches)
- Cancel events (such as concerts, weddings and sporting events)
- Close sectors or types of premises in local areas
- Introduce localised stay at home orders
- Reduce the maximum size of gatherings
- Restrict the use of transport
- Stop people leaving a certain area
What triggers a local lockdown?
There is no set level of infection that triggers a local lockdown.
But if an area posts more than 40 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, it is likely that extra restrictions will be considered.
Measures were introduced in Caerphilly after it registered 55.4 coronavirus cases per 100,000 population. This was the highest rate in Wales.
However, the number of infections is not the only factor considered.
For example, cases in Northampton jumped to 125 per 100,000 in August. But as the rise was almost entirely down to workers at a local factory no local lockdown was introduced.
Local decision-makers have a framework they can use to decide whether their area should be placed under extra restrictions to protect the public..
What is an ‘area of concern’?
Public Health England publishes a weekly list of areas where rising infection rates are becoming worrying.
It separates them into “areas of concern”, “areas of enhanced support” and “areas of intervention”.
This means it could do more testing in care homes or with communities it thinks are at higher risk. It could also close down individual venues such as a pub.
Can police enforce a lockdown?
Police have powers to enforce a local lockdown. For example, if they believe that somebody is staying away overnight, they can tell them to return home.
They can also fine people for breaking the rules, and may issue a “prohibition notice” directing somebody not to do something.
But if a resident from a locked-down area wanted to go to a bar in another part of the city, for example, there is nothing legally to stop them.
Instead, the government hopes people’s sense of civic responsibility will see them follow guidance to stay at home.