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Preston and all of Lancashire to move to tier-three coronavirus restrictions

Posted on - 16th October, 2020 - 11:13am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
County Hall in Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall
County Hall in Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall

All of Lancashire is to move into tier-three coronavirus restrictions.

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Council leaders have been locked in negotiations with central government since Friday (9 October) when the move to the new three-tiers started to become apparent.

Local Democracy Reporter, covering Lancashire County Council, Paul Faulkner confirmed a deal had been done – and Lancashire had secured £42million of support for businesses and communities as and when it moved into the new tier-three restrictions.

Preston and Lancashire were placed into tier-two, under the government’s new Local COVID alert levels system on Wednesday (14 October).

The upgraded restrictions are due to apply from 00.01 on Saturday (17 October).

It’s understood gyms and leisure centres in Preston, and Lancashire, will be allowed to remain open – a key difference to the tier-three restrictions enforced in the Liverpool region.

Read more: Longridge micro pub decides to close due to ‘restrictions uncertainity’

The government gives discretion on the closure of non-food pubs and bars, leisure industries and tourist attractions under the tier-three restrictions.

Tighter restrictions on stopping household mixing, including banning households from mixing in private gardens, come in as part of the tier-three measures.

County councillor leader Geoff Driver earlier told BBC Lancashire there ‘was a good deal on the table’ for the county.

There had been disagreements between council leaders in Lancashire about the terms of the deal, with Preston City Council’s leader councillor Matthew Brown calling for a national ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown and also saying Lancashire should stand with Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham who has said he will defy any attempt to move his region into tier-three.

Councillor Brown has continued to voice his disappointment about the deal.

What does the government say?

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “An unrelenting rise in cases in Lancashire means we must act now, and we have worked intensively with local leaders to agree on additional restrictions.

“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.

“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.”

What is tier-three?

Here are the full tier-three restrictions:

  • you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not allowed
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport
  • you should try to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level area you are in or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
  • you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very-high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere

Preston, and many other areas of Lancashire, have some of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in England.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

What do you think about the decision to move to tier-three? Let us know your views in the comments below

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