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Full tier-3 and Christmas restrictions for Preston and Lancashire

Posted on - 17th December, 2020 - 3:54pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, Fylde News, Health, People, Politics, Preston buildings & attractions, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
The Christmas lights in Friargate Pic: Tony Worrall
The Christmas lights in Friargate Pic: Tony Worrall

It has been announced today (Thursday 17 December) that all of Lancashire will remain in tier-3.

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This is after a rise in coronavirus cases across many places in the area.

This means that all hospitality venues, including pubs and restaurants are to stay closed for at least another two weeks but takeaways are still allowed.

Read more: Preston and Lancashire will remain in tier-3 restrictions 

The full restrictions in Tier 3 are:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training 
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
    • casinos
    • bingo halls
    • bowling alleys
    • skating rinks
    • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
    • laser quests and escape rooms
    • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
    • snooker halls
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open).
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
  • there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  • large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s. You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Read more: ‘Cases have not fallen to a sufficient degree’ leader of Preston City Council on tiers decision

The announcement this morning received some controversy from council leaders.

Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council said: “This is devastating for the region. Our businesses have been doing all they can to make sure they are sticking to the rules and making sure their businesses are Covid safe, and to remain in tier-3 over the Christmas period will truly be catastrophic for them.

“We urged Government to review the case figures and make fair choices and I don’t think this has happened.

“I’m more than disappointed that the Government are not engaging or listening to us or dealing with the real issues which is causing the virus to spread.”

Read more:A ‘smaller Christmas’ urged as Preston coronavirus rate rises but South Ribble falls

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

However, Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council expressed that cases had not fallen to a ‘sufficient degree’ for Preston to be lowered into tier-2.

Cllr Brown said: “We understand this decision by government will be greatly frustrating to our residents and businesses who have sacrificed so much this year in our fight against the virus.

“Unfortunately cases have not fallen to a sufficient degree to enable us to move down to Tier 2 and we’re especially concerned about rising case numbers in the over 60’s age group.

“As we live with these restrictions over the festive period I’d urge everyone to exercise caution if visiting loved ones to protect vulnerable people and reduce pressure on our health service. Winter is already a tough time for our NHS and any steps we can take to reduce the rate of infection will prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.”

Restrictions are due to change nation-wide from 23-27 December over the Christmas period.

The five-day relaxation of some rules has been disputed by some that it should be reduced to a three day period instead to lower changes of infection.

During this time people will be able to mix indoors in groups of three households.

Read more: Map shows mixed view for latest coronavirus figures in Preston and South Ribble

Here are the Christmas rules between 23-27 December:

  • Between 23-27 December you can form a ‘Christmas Bubble’ comprised of people from up to three households.
  • You are able to travel between tiers and UK nations to meet your bubble.
  • You are only allowed to meet in homes, places of worship or public outdoor spaces – you are not able to meet in pubs or restaurants.
  • You can meet people outside your bubble as long as you are following local rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “A smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas.”

However, due to Wales recently changing their restrictions they can now only form a ‘Christmas bubble’ with two households plus a single person who lives alone.

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer said: “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s sensible in any way.

“For example you wouldn’t drive if there was a very icy road even though the law might say 70mph is what you officially can drive at.”

Read more: Family doctors ready to offer coronavirus vaccination to the most vulnerable across Preston

The latest data shows that 25,161 people tested positive for coronavirus in the UK on 16 December.

304,360 tests were conducted and 612 people died from the virus.

In Preston 55 people tested positive for Covid-19.

Read more:Latest news and updates from Blog Preston

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