Stricter Covid restrictions imposed in Lancashire, Merseyside and Warrington

Measures include ban on mixing with other families and 10pm nightlife curfew

People walking in Winckley Square gardens in Preston

People walking in Winckley Square gardens in Preston, where restrictions were already in place.
Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Thousands of people across Lancashire, Merseyside and Warrington will be banned from mixing with other families under tougher restrictions announced to control the spread of coronavirus.

The measures, which will come into force on Tuesday, will prohibit residents in 17 council areas from meeting others outside their support bubbles and include a 10pm curfew on nightlife. Blackpool is the only area in the county which will be exempt from the restrictions.

People in affected areas should only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work, and avoid attending amateur or semi-professional sports events as spectators. Residents should also take holidays only with people in their own household or support bubble.

Preston, Pendle and Blackburn with Darwen, which already had restrictions in place, will be included under the stricter measures.

Local politicians and leaders were told of the stricter measures being proposed for the county by the government during a meeting on Thursday.

More than 10 million people across the UK are living under local restrictions, covering parts of Scotland, south Wales, the north-west and north-east of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands.