Laws enforcing lockdown restrictions across Greater Manchester come into effective at midnight.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 were published earlier today, and will come into force tonight.

Ministers had said the rules – which ban people from different households meeting in a private home or garden following a spike in coronavirus cases – would apply from midnight on July 31.

Anyone found flouting the rules could be fined £100 up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.

Officials refused to comment when asked why there had been a delay in imposing the laws and on what legal basis they had been enforced for the first five days of the measures.

The legislation is currently set to affect Bolton, but the restriction zone could change at any time as directed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The Regulations also amend existing laws for Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, which means those areas are now subject to the same measures as well.

The towns and city were initially governed by less restrictive legislation which was made on Friday and came into force on Saturday.

Those who have formed a support bubble and are "linked" households, people sharing childcare duties, and people going to work are all exempt from the new rules.

The laws also don't apply to people attending a birth at the mother's request, those visiting a dying loved one, or anyone moving house.

Restrictions must be reviewed every 14 days, although could remain in place for up to six months if not scrapped by the government.