POLITICS
16/10/2020 9:26 PM AEDT | Updated 16/10/2020 9:50 PM AEDT

Lancashire To Be Placed Under Tier 3 Coronavirus Lockdown

It is the second region of England to enter the highest level of restrictions, after Liverpool.

Lancashire has agreed to escalate its coronavirus lockdown restrictions to tier 3, the highest alert level, from Saturday.

People from different households will not be allowed to mix, pubs and bars not serving food will be forced to close and residents will be told not to travel outside the area.

It is the second area of England, after the Liverpool City Region, to be put into the tier 3, or “very high”, category.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said the measures in Lancashire were needed due to an “unrelenting rise in cases”. 

“I know how heavy these additional challenges will weigh on everyday life for the people of Lancashire – but they are critical in bringing this virus under control,” he said.

“Without them, we risk the health of your loved ones, your most vulnerable, and your local NHS services. Now is the time to play your part, and we will make sure you are supported.”

A financial support package of  £12m will be given to the region by central government.

The tier 3 restrictions apply across all parts of Lancashire and include Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, and Wyre. 

In addition to the baseline tier 3 restrictions, from Monday the adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops and soft play areas must also close. Car boot sales will also not not be permitted.

But gyms will be allowed to remain open, even though they have been closed in Liverpool. 

A furious political row between local politicians and the government has so far prevented Greater Manchester from also moving into tier 3.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has demanded any stricter measures must be accompanied with more financial support for people and businesses. 

But Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said more action was needed in the city to control the virus and avoid a second nation lockdown.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme he urged Burnham to “do the right thing by the people of Manchester”.

London will move into tier 2 on Saturday, banning people from separate households mixing indoors – including in pubs and restaurants.

Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield will also move into the second tier of measures.

It comes amid warnings there are around 47,000 Covid-19 infections occurring daily across England, with deaths expected to hit 240 to 690 per day by October 26.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) biostatistics unit at Cambridge University estimated cases are doubling in under seven days, with a “substantial proportion” of those being asymptomatic.

The figures are fed to the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides real-time information to the government through the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and to regional Public Health England (PHE) teams.

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