Coronavirus: UK’s Wales and Manchester head towards tougher lockdowns

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Around 6 million people in the United Kingdom face tougher COVID-19 lockdowns in coming days as Wales and Manchester, the country’s third largest city, mull additional restrictions as the novel coronavirus outbreak accelerates.

Wales on Monday said it would impose a 2-week sharp “firebreak” lockdown from Friday in which everybody apart from essential workers would have to stay at home.

“It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need,” Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told reporters. “Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home.”

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The United Kingdom recorded 16,982 new daily cases of COVID-19 in the space of 24 hours, according to government data issued on Sunday, up from 16,717 the previous day.

After a public row with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who accused Johnson of attempting to sacrifice the north of England to save jobs in the south, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said a lockdown could be imposed within days.

“We do need to conclude this,” Jenrick said of talks with local leaders, adding that the contours of an agreement were there. Johnson has threatened to impose a lockdown against the will of local leaders if agreement is not possible.

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