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Handling of new coronavirus restrictions ‘new low for government communications’ | ITV News

The government has been criticised for its handling of the announcement of new coronavirus restrictions in parts of the north west England “late at night” and just hours before they came into force.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday evening that “immediate action” was needed across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire to keep people safe.

The stricter lockdown measures, announced via Mr Hancock’s Twitter feed at around 9pm and later posted online, mean members of different households are not be able to meet indoors.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described announcing such a major decision on social media alone was a “new low for the Government’s communications”.

Sir Keir suggested the announcement would have been better suited to a press conference.

The restrictions, which came into force at midnight on Friday, cover the whole of Greater Manchester, as well as the east Lancashire boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale and Hyndburn.

Residents in the West Yorkshire areas of Bradford, Calderdale – which includes the town of Halifax – and Kirklees – which includes the town of Huddersfield – are also affected.

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