THE Government has put further easing of lockdown restrictions on hold - as three more parts of England are placed under new rules.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this afternoon that planned changes to lockdown rules due to come in tomorrow would be halted.

He made the comments just hours after new rules were brought out across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

But what restrictions have been imposed, which areas are affected and what will it all mean for people living there? 

What does this mean for the people living in the affected areas?

Government guidance published on Friday states that it will be against the law for people from different households (so, those who do not live together) to meet in a private home or garden, unless they are part of a support bubble.

Does this mean two households cannot meet up at all?

The guidance states that up to two households, or six people from any number of households, are allowed to meet outdoors - but not in people's gardens. It says people should continue to socially distance from anyone they do not live with and avoid physical contact.

On Friday morning Mr Hancock told the BBC that two households can still meet "at a social distance in a public place outdoors" such as a park, where there is lots of space, but meeting another household in pub gardens or outdoor restaurant space is not allowed in the newly restricted area of the North-West.

Can people in the affected areas travel outside the affected areas and vice versa?

Mr Hancock said people can still travel "for work purposes".

He said: "Strictly, the law we're bringing in is that two households cannot meet in the area defined but obviously any two households who are meeting should follow the social distancing guidelines."

Asked specifically on BBC Breakfast if a household from, for example, Greater Manchester, could go to a household outside one of the affected areas, he said: "Following social distancing rules."

The guidance says it will be illegal for people from outside the "lockdown area" to visit those inside the affected areas at their home.

The guidance also states that people can travel into and outside the lockdown areas for weddings and that, while people from outside the affected areas can attend, they should not go into a private home or garden.

People can travel inside and outside the lockdown areas for funerals too, the guidance states.

People in the affected areas are also being advised not to share a vehicle with anyone outside their household.

If they must, they should take precautions including keeping to small groups of people at any one time, opening windows for ventilation, wearing face coverings and travelling side by side or behind other people.

Have shops, bars, restaurants and other local businesses had to close down?

No, unlike the Leicester lockdown this has not happened. While these places remain open, people are urged only to go with members of their own household and to maintain social distancing from others.

People can still visit lockdown areas for holidays, the Government says, but "must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so".

In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, indoor gyms, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor sports courts and facilities and indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks must remain closed.

What about if I have been shielding, can I stop on August 1 with the rest of England?

The Government guidance states that shielding continues for people living in Blackburn with Darwen in the North West "and other local affected areas across England".

Are care home visits allowed?

People should not visit care homes in the affected areas "other than in exceptional circumstances", the guidance states.

What about places of worship?

People can still attend churches, mosques and other places of worship, but have to socially distance from those outside their household and the Government recommends that "if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors".

Muslims celebrating Eid in the affected areas are being urged not to host or visit friends and family in each other's homes or gardens and not to meet friends and family in other venues - including restaurants or cafes.

Why have the new restrictions been introduced?

In a series of tweets, Mr Hancock said there has been an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.

He said this is due to "households gathering and not abiding by the social distancing rules" and that the new rules are being put in place in order to "keep the country safe".

Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast a second wave of coronavirus is "not yet" happening in the UK, adding: "These measures are very much being taken to prevent a second wave - we can see that second wave in Europe.

"We're absolutely determined to keep people safe."

How will the restrictions be enforced?

The Government has said it will pass new laws to enforce the changes, which will mean police can take action against those who break the rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing £100 fines, which could double if further offences are committed.