Preston is to be included in the additional restrictions that apply to other parts of east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and west Yorkshire.Advertisement
That means, from midnight tonight if you are a Preston resident (i.e. you pay council tax to Preston City Council):
Social bubbles are exempt from these restrictions. Residents can meet in groups of up to six (or more than six if exclusively from two households) in outdoor areas such as parks and beer gardens. Households can also visit indoor hospitality venues, so long as they don’t mix with others.
This follows Preston being designated an “area of intervention” by government following a spike in cases.
Since the rise of cases was first announced last week, residents, communities and businesses have been asked to take extra precautions to reduce the spread of the virus. These extra precautions are now mandatory and residents are still actively encouraged to get tested at the regional testing site based at Preston’s College if they are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus.
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The announcement comes following the release of data showing the areas of the city most affect by the recent rise of cases, which include inner city and rural areas of Preston. The data also shows a significant rise in cases in the under 30 age group, clearly demonstrating the need for all residents to take the safety precautions, restrictions and guidance very seriously.
Adrian Phillips, Chief Executive at Preston City Council, said: “The number of cases in Preston have increased rapidly in recent days leading to Government categorising the city as an area of intervention. It is also alarming to see that the under 30s are contracting it at a significant rate.
“It is clear that coronavirus is still here and we all need to work together to keep ourselves, our friends, families and communities safe from this virus.
“While some wards have recorded a higher level of cases, this remains a city wide issue and it’s essential that we all do our part to fight the virus.
“We’re urging everyone to be diligent and follow the restrictions, in order to protect all of our residents, communities and businesses.”
Angie Ridgwell, Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council and Chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum which is leading the response to coronavirus in the county, added: “We understand that these restrictions are going to be disruptive to many people but it is a necessary step to protect the health of everyone in Preston and beyond.
“It is vitally important that everyone plays their part by adhering to these new restrictions. I want to be very clear – if we do not see a reduction in infections it is highly likely that more stringent measures will be introduced.”
Lancashire’s Director of Public Health, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, said: “In the past week, the number of positive cases in Preston has increased significantly and it is extremely important that we act now to prevent the situation from getting any worse.
“The evidence is clear, we all need to take extra precautions to protect our loved ones. Coronavirus affects all of communities and we all need to do our part to prevent the spread from continuing rise.
“I also want to be clear that this is affecting people from both south Asian and white ethnic backgrounds, particularly those living in poor socio economic conditions in our city. We need to avoid mixing between households and to maintain 2m social distancing particularly in pubs and clubs.”
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Central government has produced guidance on what residents can and cannot do.
Preston City Council and the Lancashire Resilience Forum are working closely with businesses to implement necessary safety measures to protect customers. Where necessary enforcement action is being taken where businesses are not complying with regulations.
Elsewhere the council is working closely with community and faith groups to ensure all communities are exercising increased caution and following public health guidance.