‘Please do not mix’ – Prestonians asked to help avoid a tighter lockdown

Posted on - 21st August, 2020 - 3:36pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Preston News
A hand displaying a stop Covid-19 slogan Pic: Pixabay
A hand displaying a stop Covid-19 slogan Pic: Pixabay

Prestonians are being asked to voluntarily follow the tighter Covid-19 guidelines being applied elsewhere in Lancashire, to help avoid more restrictions being brought to the city.

Preston was plunged into a localised lockdown a fortnight ago (Friday 7 August), joining many other areas of the county that had seen the same restrictions applied a week before.

Preston avoided tighter restrictions being imposed today, unlike areas of Blackburn, Oldham and Pendle where different households are now unable to meet in any situations, including outdoors in parks or beer gardens.

People in those areas have also been asked to avoid public transport unless it is essential, and the number of people attending religious services, including weddings and funerals has been reduced.

However, Preston residents are being asked to consider following the tighter guidelines to avoid further intervention.

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In a press conference today (Friday 21 August), Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council Director of Public Health said about Preston: “I strongly urge everyone to take notice of what’s happening in the other parts of the county and the country.

“Please do not mix otherwise it [tighter restrictions] will be in effect.”

Two weeks ago, the people of Preston were advised not to meet with other households indoors and not to visit a restaurant or pub with a different household, to try and halt the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the city.

Many businesses in the city were either forced to close by the government during lockdown or have chosen to, as these shut up shops in Fishergate show Pic: Tony Worrall
A complete lockdown is not yet on the cards, but it is being considered if cases are still not reducing in the county Pic: Tony Worrall

Discussions about a full lockdown have been considered to try and reduce the number of cases, however it is not believed to be the most effective measure.

“We do not think closing down the economy as a blanket approach is going to do more good than harm, actually it’s the other way round,” Dr Karunanithi added.

“If it [tightening restrictions] does not work, the only other blunt tool that we as a nation have got is a lockdown and none of us want that.

See the latest coronavirus stats

“I genuinely think if we stick to the guidance and we make our COVID secure businesses as the default then we can avoid that.”

Angie Ridgewell, Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council and Chair of Lancashire Resilience Forum said: “Thank you to everyone in Lancashire for their continued sterling efforts in our battle against the coronavirus.

“We are putting some comprehensive and hopefully simple advice on our Lancashire County Council. It’s really important that we follow these measures.

Read more: Walk-in coronavirus testing site to open at Preston Markets

“We have been working hard to stop further economic lockdown coming into Lancashire.

“We think that’s a blunt instrument and we don’t think it’s going to help the situation, but it has been considered and if we can’t get those numbers down then almost certainly these interventions will follow.

“I’m urging everyone to follow the advice that’s given, to work hard to get these numbers down so that we can start to follow Rossendale and the southern parts of Blackburn with Darwen and move the rest of Lancashire out of intervention.”

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Will you consider following tighter guidelines if it means the city doesn’t face further restrictions? Let us know in the comments

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