A major incident has this evening been declared by authorities within Greater Manchester after the rates in which coronavirus infection has risen.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that the decision was taken to enable authorities and agencies to respond “as effectively as possible”, including with extra resources.
People “should not be alarmed” by the news as it was “standard practice”, Manchester City Council said.
Greater Manchester is currently under a local lockdown but the rates are not slowing and the virus is still increasing.
The new restrictions announced on Thursday – that also apply in east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire – ban separate households from meeting each other at home.
The new rules also banned members of two different households from mixing in pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues, but those businesses are permitted to remain open for those visiting individually or from the same household.
Despite a major incident being declared the advice does not change but the situation is being monitored.
Out of the top 20 worst affected local authority areas for Covid-19 infections in England, Greater Manchester boroughs make up more than a third of the list with seven entries.
Oldham, the second worst affected borough in the country, saw its seven-day rate jump from 41.6 to 62.8 per 100,000 people, with 148 new cases reported in the past week.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: “It is part of our desire to protect the population of Greater Manchester and provide them with the highest levels of assurance that agencies are doing all they can to reduce infection rates and bring Greater Manchester back to as near a state of normality as current times allow.”