Millions of people in the North of England have been subject to new lockdown rules since Friday.
Residents of the relevant areas are no longer allowed to meet indoors with members of other households.
The strict policy has been in place since midnight in Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire. About 4 million people live there.
Health Minister Matt Hancock says the virus continues to take hold because people do not engage in social distancing and meet people from other households. “We are determined to do whatever it takes to keep people safe,” he said on Twitter.
The opposition has criticized the government’s approach. He did not announce the lockdown until Thursday evening, a few hours before it would take effect.
“Measures that could affect millions of people announcing via Twitter late at night is yet another low for the way government communicates during this crisis,” said Keir Starmer, leader of the left-wing Labor party.
Authorities in the UK have diagnosed the virus with more than 300,000 people. More than 46,000 patients also died in a few months.
The authorities are trying to prevent further spread by establishing lockdowns locally in severely affected areas. That also happened earlier in Leicester.