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Preston and South Ribble’s Covid infection rates upturn during early March and legal battle begins to open indoor hospitality venues earlier than roadmap dates

Posted on - 14th March, 2021 - 8:06pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Daffodils in Miller Park Pic: Tony Worrall
Daffodils in Miller Park Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston and South Ribble’s coronavirus infection rates have both trended upwards in the latest figures.

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Blog Preston has been tracking the infection rates since late October last year and after solid declines each week since mid-January the city and borough have both seen a small upturn in infection rates.

The weekend cases

Latest coronavirus cases for Saturday (13 March) showed 15 new cases for Preston.

South Ribble recorded 16 new cases for the same day.

Wyre was up by six, Chorley by nine, Ribble Valley also by nine and Fylde by eight new cases.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

Sunday (14 March) new confirmed coronavirus cases showed Preston recorded 20 new cases.

South Ribble recorded 14 for the same day.

Wyre was just five, Fylde the same amount, Ribble Valley with seven cases and Chorley recorded 11 cases.

The uptick in infection rates

Preston, as of Friday, had the third-highest Covid infection rate in England.

Our chart below shows how during the start of March the latest infection rates show both Preston and South Ribble seeing an increase from where they were in late February.

You can view the changing infection rates chart below or by tapping here.

Read more: Health chiefs confirm how many people have now had vaccine in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Hospitality businesses start legal proceedings to move forward May re-opening date

A judicial review has been submitted against the government’s roadmap ruling about when indoor hospitality venues can reopen.

Currently hospitality venues can begin outdoor-only table service from 12 April and indoor hospitality cannot resume until 17 May. Non-essential shops can re-open on 12 April.

Hugh Osmond, the founder of Punch Taverns and a former director of Pizza Express, and Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser, have submitted a claim for a judicial review to the Government.

They believe there is “no evidence or justification for the prioritisation” of non-essential retail over hospitality, and said it could have a “potentially indirectly discriminatory effect” on young people and people from BAME backgrounds working in hospitality.

Read more: Reps Gym owner charged with breaching Covid closure order

Mr Osmond, director of Various Eateries, said the Government must base its decisions on “evidence not prejudice” when taking “momentous and unprecedented actions affecting millions of its citizens”.

“I believe we can show that discrimination and unsubstantiated beliefs, rather than facts, science and evidence, lie at the heart of much of the Government’s approach to hospitality, and these wrongs need to be righted.

“This legal case will give a fighting chance to over three million people who work in hospitality, to the tens of thousands of businesses, suppliers, landlords and contractors – large and small – forced into bankruptcy, and to millions of our loyal customers who have been deprived of the human social interaction they experience in our premises.

“We won’t ever be able to repair our health, recover our social lives or rebuild our economy if we allow our Government to lock us up and shut down the economy on the basis of such flawed logic, little justification or evidence.

“Our democracy should be better than this and on behalf of all those who have been affected by Government measures, and those of us who cherish British democracy and freedom, I hope our case can open up a chink of light at the end of this very dark chapter, so that we can – as the Prime Minister said – reclaim our lives and freedoms once and for all.”

Mr Osmond and Mr Lord’s letter to the Government’s legal department argues that hospitality venues are safer than non-essential retail, and that they are essential for local communities and mental health.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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