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Preston and Lancashire await tier-restrictions fate as some post 2 December changes confirmed

Posted on - 23rd November, 2020 - 4:22pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
The Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons on Monday, virtually, as he is still self-isolating Pic: Parliament TV
The Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons on Monday, virtually, as he is still self-isolating Pic: Parliament TV

Preston and Lancashire will uncover on Thursday which tier we go into once the national lockdown ends on 2 December.

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The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined the return of the regional tiered approach and most likely a ‘tightening’ of the restrictions in each tier.

Mr Johnson said there were some uniform changes planned to come into place from 00.01 on December 2, these included:

  • Meeting other households outside would be relaxed back to the rule of six
  • Collective worship and weddings would be resumed
  • Shops would be reopened in all tiers
  • Personal care, such as hairdressers, gyms and the leisure sector would all be allowed to reopen

Hospitality businesses look set to be hit with the bulk of the tightening of rules for the Covid Winter Plan.

The new tier-3 measures would see all hospitality businesses closed, with only delivery and takeaway allowed.

In tier-2 areas then alcohol would only be allowed to be served as part of a substantial meal.

However, the 10pm curfew is due to be scrapped in any tier, and replacing by last orders at 10pm and then an hours drinking up or finishing a meal up time.

Spectator sports are also due to resume, with limited capacity, in tier-1 and tier-2 areas.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

What did the PM say?

Mr Johnson said: “We can see a route out of the pandemic.

“I am aware no other Prime Minister, since war time, has asked so much of the British people. I am deeply grateful.

“We are not there yet. First we must get through the winter without squandering our hard won gains.

How will we know which tier Preston is in?

A full announcement on the tiers is due on Thursday, including detail on which local authorities are in which tiers.

It’s understood the tiers will be applied by upper level authority area – so at a Lancashire-wide level and unitary authorities – rather than there being any difference between Preston and Lancaster, for example.

There will be no negotiation on the restrictions within each tier and no tweaking of the packages or measures applied in each region – unlike what happened in October’s negotiations.

Local authorities are due to receive ‘surge capacity’ for further testing and also specially trained officers with new powers to close down venues not complying with the measures.

Read more: Leyland pub to close as it says Covid restrictions have taken their toll

How will it be worked out?

Mr Johnson said: “We will be applying toughest measures where Covid is most prevalent

“While previous local tiers did cut the R number, they did not reduce below one.

“Our tiers need to be made tougher.”

The Prime Minister said the tier decision would be made by analysing cases in all age groups, especially over-60s and the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of people tested and the projected pressures on the NHS.

Mr Johnson said: “More regions will fall at least temporarily into higher levels than before, by using these tougher tiers and rapid turnaround tests, to drive R below 1 and keep it there, should be possible for areas to move down the tiering scale.”

Read more: Watch back Preston’s virtual Christmas lights switch on

And what of Christmas?

Mr Johnson said: “What we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us back into lockdown

“We’re working with devolved administrations on special Christmas dispensation and reflecting ties of kinship. It will be time limited.

“This virus won’t grant a Christmas truce. And families will need to make a careful judgement about risk of visiting elderly relatives.”

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

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