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More social restrictions could be imposed, minister suggests

Tighter social restrictions could be imposed if coronavirus infections continue to rise, a minister has suggested.

Helen Whately said "we don't want to" bring in measures taking the UK back towards a second national lockdown but cautioned the government is keeping a "constant eye" on COVID-19 cases.

It comes amid a warning the new 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants could be "doing more harm than good".

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Image: The latest figures show 5,693 new coronavirus cases reported on Sunday

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, called for an "urgent review" of the policy brought in last week because it "creates an incentive for people to gather in the street or more probably to gather in the home".

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"I don't think this has been fully thought through," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Ms Whately called scenes of people partying and not distancing after leaving pubs at 10pm "worrying" and when asked if further changes were on the way, pointed to the rules banning household mixing in parts of northwest and northeast England.

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It follows a report in The Times that a "total social lockdown" could be enforced across much of northern Britain and London – with all pubs and restaurants ordered to shut for two weeks.

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