Matt Hancock has announced new restrictions for Liverpool, Warrington, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool in a bid to curb rising coronavirus infections.
Households will be banned from mixing in all social settings except for in parks and outside pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Residents are advised only to visit care homes in “exceptional circumstances”, and to only use public transport for essential journeys, which include going to work and school.
– ‘Draconian measures likely for Merseyside’
Steve Rotheram, Labour mayor of the Liverpool City region, said the new Covid measures being prepared for Merseyside were likely to be “more draconian than we already have”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “We know what the government are contemplating but we don’t know the final prescriptive menu that they are going to come up with.
“But we do know that there is a need for further restrictions and that they are going to be much more draconian that we already have.”
He confirmed restrictions on who and how people could be served alcohol in pubs was “one of” the regulations expected to be included.
“That’s one of them, but there are other ones, things that have been mooted that will have an emotional impact on people, such as around weddings and funerals,” the former MP continued.
“We do know and understand the government has to do something – all of our figures are going badly in the wrong direction.”
Mr Rotheram said chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, had not outlined a full lockdown for the city as one of the options under consideration, calling such a move “unlikely”.