Preston has dropped out of the fastest rising coronavirus infection rates in England after a run of days in the country’s top 10.Advertisement
Latest coronavirus cases for the city were 94 new cases recorded for Thursday (21 January).
South Ribble saw 59 new cases for the same day.
Wyre recorded 57 cases, Fylde 34, Ribble Valley 25 and Chorley 56 new cases.
Preston’s Covid-19 infection rate is still increasing, but not at the same rate as previous days, with 484.2 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to January 17, up from 479.3 for the seven days to January 10.
Data for the most recent four days (January 18-21) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you
South Ribble’s rate is now falling, at 477.5, down from 488.3, for the same two date periods as Preston.
Wyre’s infection rate is also dropping, at 343.5, down from 463.
Fylde dropped to 297.1, down from 323.1 and Ribble Valley is now 482.9, down from 550.2.
Chorley’s rate is now 361.2, down from 391.7.
Read more: Harris Museum now being used as rapid Covid test centre for city centre workers
Home secretary Priti Patel said ‘irresponsible’ house parties and gatherings would now see an £800 fine given to individuals caught by police.
This is up from the current fine of £200 per person.
The penalty comes into force next week and applies to groups of more than 15 people found in a property.
Each offence would double up to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offenders.
Organisers of gatherings with more than 30 people will still face a fine of £10,000.
Read more: Police list staggering Covid rule breaches committed in Preston and Lancashire
The Home Secretary told a Downing Street press conference: “The science is clear: such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health.
“Not only to those in attendance but to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.
“As this latest measure demonstrates, we will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk.”
You can watch the full press conference here
Researchers have suggested to the Prime Minister that pubs and restaurants may need to stay shut until May to halt another spike in cases.
As 1,290 further deaths were reported, experts modelling the pandemic suggested there could be a huge surge in cases if restrictions were lifted too early.
But Dr Marc Baguelin, from Imperial College London, who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) which advises the Government, said the opening of the hospitality sector before May would lead to another “bump” in transmission.
On BBC Radio 4’s World At One he said it would result in “another wave of some extent” and “at best you will keep on having very, very unsustainable level of pressure on the NHS”.
The Prime Minister, asked whether the lockdown would continue until the summer, said it was “too early to say when we’ll be able to lift some of the restrictions”, pointing out that there were “unquestionably going to be a tough few weeks ahead”.
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines