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Ministers have backtracked over travel advice for eight areas worst hit by the Indian virus variant, after a change in guidance led to widespread confusion.

The amended advice asks people to minimise travel into and out of Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

Earlier advice had asked people to avoid non-essential travel altogether.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted communication over the Covid advice could have been "clearer".

Mr Shapps said the government would "learn from that", but added he did not believe the change in advice was "actually all that complicated".

"This is not a new lockdown, this is not law, this is just some advice," he told BBC Breakfast, adding the purpose was "to remind people that they happen to be living in areas where the risk of transmission is higher".

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