Oldham is on the brink of local lockdown after it recorded the worst coronavirus infection rate in the country – with Greater Manchester seeing more than 1,100 reported coronavirus breaches in one weekend.

Council bosses are desperately urging people not to mix with other households indoors, asking them to "act now to prevent a local lockdown" as there is "no time to lose".

Oldham is in the borough of Greater Manchester, where police received 1,106 reports of people flouting newly imposed restrictions last weekend – a 25% increase on the previous week.

There were 540 reports of house parties and indoor gatherings and 48 of licenced premises breaking the rules. Ten people were arrested and 11 fines were issued, Greater Manchester Police added.

Oldham now has the highest seven-day coronavirus infection rate in the country – 107.5 cases per 100,000 people – overtaking Blackburn with Darwen – which has 65.8 per 100,000 people.


This is more than double the rate in Leicester (51.8 per 100,000) – the only part of England to have suffered a local lockdown so far.

According to council data, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Oldham almost doubled from 137 for the week ending 1 August to 255 for the one ending 8 August.

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Local figures show the virus is "circulating in almost every area and across all age groups and ethnicities" in Oldham.

The council says there has been a "significant" rise in cases among people in their 20s and 30s as well as in the Asian community.

Greater Manchester Police added: "It is worth noting that recent spikes in Greater Manchester which lead to the additional restrictions were centred around house parties with 17 and 18-year-olds."

Oldham council bosses say cases are appearing in household clusters, which "shows household spread is a real issue".

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