The Prime Minister has addressed the decision to take Lancashire into tier-three coronavirus restrictions.Advertisement
Boris Johnson made the comments during a press conference during Friday (17 October) afternoon.
His comments came after Lancashire leaders reached a deal with the government to move the county up in the Local Covid alert levels system, from tier-two to tier-three.
Read more: Preston risked ‘becoming an island’ claims city leader in tier-three negotiations
The Prime Minister said: “In Lancashire, today, we have worked with both Labour and Conservative leaders to agree a package.
“These were tough discussions and difficult decisions. No one wants to have to implement these measures which damage local businesses, curtail individual freedoms and impose significant strains on people’s mental health.
“But these decisions were necessary, because of the rate of increase not just in infections but also in hospitisations and admissions to intensive care.
“Without action there is no doubt that our NHS would soon be struggling to treat the sheer number of people seriously ill with Covid.
“Non-Covid treatments and surgeries would need to be cancelled in order to cope and many more people would die.
“So taking action is the right and responsible thing to do and it is backed up by significant support for areas on very high alert.
“The job support scheme combined with Universal Credit means that those on low incomes who are affected by business closures will receive at least 80% of their wages.
“We’re providing up to £465m to help very high alert level areas to implement and enforce the restrictions, in addition to the £1bn of extra funding for local authorities across the country.
“We will work with local authorities to allocate testing and introduce local contact tracing.”
You can watch Boris Johnson’s full press conference here
The Prime Minister also said a ‘quick turnaround’ Covid test was also in development – potentially giving results within 15-minutes.
The PM said Lancashire would be a ‘priority’ area for receiving the new Covid tests once available and would be able to be deployed by directors of public health at local authorities.
The Lancashire deal is understood to be £42m of funding to support businesses and communities.
Lancashire County Council and unitary and district authorities are currently working out where and how the funding will be allocated.
Read more: Full restrictions for tier-three in Lancashire
New tier-three restrictions for Lancashire come into force from 00.01 during Saturday (17 October).
What do you make of the Prime Minister’s comments? Let us know in the comments below