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i News reported that measures that regional health chiefs could introduce this winter include the enforcement of mask wearing and social distancing in public spaces, buildings and transport and allowing councils to close individual premises or events.
A spokeswoman for DHSC said: “Local authorities will retain the power to introduce requirements or restrictions on individual premises, events or outdoor places, if there is a serious and imminent threat to public health posed by Covid-19.
“These powers cannot be used to impose restrictions on all premises in an area and it is recommended that local authorities consult with directors of public health when taking such decisions.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed to i that the decision to give local areas their own powers to use had been taken in order to help prevent NHS services being pushed beyond capacity.