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Preston and South Ribble to be classed as ‘high’ in new coronavirus alert levels

Posted on - 12th October, 2020 - 4:08pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Politics, Preston News
A sign at former community coronavirus testing centre in Preston Pic: Donna Clifford
A sign at former community coronavirus testing centre in Preston Pic: Donna Clifford

Preston and Lancashire are to be classed as ‘high’ alert areas in England’s new three-tier coronavirus alert system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the new Covid-19 restrictions the country faces from Wednesday (14 October).

The three levels are: Medium, High and Very High – with Preston and Lancashire understood to be classed as a ‘high’ area, the second of the three levels.

Only the Liverpool City Region has been placed as Very High in the three tier system, which sees pubs, bars and other hospitality outlets closed.

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “We are pleased we have remained in Tier 2 regulations for the time being, after lots of negotiations this weekend.

“Government appear to adopt a very restrictive approach, which won’t tackle the pandemic based on our own public health evidence.

“We will consider further restrictions but feel this must be evidence based and be accompanied by proper support for effective test and trace and local people and businesses.”

Read more: Preston Council leader raises concern about closure of city’s two coronavirus testing sites

The Prime Minister said the majority of areas with enhanced restrictions, such as Preston, would remain in the ‘High’ alert category and many of the current restrictions would remain. Such as the closure of pubs and bars at 10pm and a ban on households mixing indoors.

The Prime Minister addressing MPs during Monday (12 October) about the three tier Covid-19 alert system. Full details on the tiers are due to be published today.
The Prime Minister addressing MPs during Monday (12 October) about the three tier Covid-19 alert system. Full details on the tiers are due to be published today.

However the Prime Minister suggested High areas would have the rule of six applied allowing people to meet in groups of up to six outdoors and in private gardens. At present the ‘rule of six’ does not apply in Preston as households are advised not to meet or mix indoors or outdoors.

Mr Johnson said: “The high alert level reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment.

“This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors. In these areas the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors where it is harder for the virus to spread in public spaces as well as private gardens.”

You can see the Prime Minister’s full statement here.

Read more: Preston’s MP slams government for leaving residents on a ‘cliff edge’

The full guidance on the restrictions in ‘high’ level areas can be found here and comes into force on Wednesday (14 October).

It would appear the leaders of district councils in Lancashire, including Preston, and Lancashire County Council, were successful in their lobbying for Preston to avoid ‘tier three restrictions’.

A statement released during Sunday evening showed negotiations between Lancashire leaders and the government had reached an impasse.

See the latest coronavirus stats for your area by entering your postcode below

Read more: Nostalgia cocktail bar ordered to close by public health officials

Between 30 September and 6 October in Preston there were 464 positive Covid-19 cases in the city, with 269 cases in South Ribble.

The city’s infection rate of 324 cases per 100,000 people is in the top 20 areas for infection rates in England.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

What did you make of the Prime Minister’s announcement? Let us know your comments below

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