By DANICA KIRKA and MARIA CHENG, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Britain imposed tighter restrictions on social gatherings in the port city of Liverpool and three towns as scientists reported Thursday that the number of COVID-19 cases in England has quadrupled or more in the last month.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons on Thursday that the infection rate in Liverpool had risen to 268 per 100,000 people, seven times the national average. He said it was time to extend tougher measures to the city, as well as to the nearby town of Warrington and in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, which are on the other side of the country.
The restrictions are similar to those imposed in northeastern England earlier this week, which forbid mixing of households except public spaces like parks. The government also recommended that people visit nursing homes only in exceptional circumstances.
“We’ve had to