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Preston and South Ribble’s changing coronavirus rates in March, the Easter weekend Covid cases and Prime Minister confirms April 12 reopening plans on track

Posted on - 5th April, 2021 - 6:53pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Face masks on display as part of portraits in the Lancashire Photography Festival around Preston's city centre streets Pic: Garry Cook
Face masks on display as part of portraits in the Lancashire Photography Festival around Preston’s city centre streets Pic: Garry Cook

Preston’s coronavirus infection rate showed an upturn towards the end of March as the Prime Minister outlined the April 12 stage of easing lockdown restrictions would go ahead as planned.

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Infection rate data – for nearly all of March – shows how Preston and South Ribble’s rates changed. Blog Preston has been tracking the daily infection rate since late October last year when England was on the verge of a second national lockdown.

Here’s a round-up of all the daily Covid cases for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in Preston and the surrounding boroughs.

Read more: What you can and can’t do after the March 29 restrictions change

Weekend cases for Easter 2021

On Good Friday (April 2) as the city was soaked in warm Spring sunshine Preston recorded 22 new Covid cases.

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South Ribble saw just one for the same day.

Fylde was up by two, Chorley with 16, Ribble Valley with five and Wyre with two cases.

For Saturday (April 3) there were 11 new cases in Preston.

South Ribble saw two cases on the same day.

Chorley recorded 12 new cases, Fylde just two, Ribble Valley had no new cases and Wyre recorded four new cases.

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On Easter Sunday (April 4) Preston recorded seven new cases.

South Ribble saw four confirmed cases for the same day.

Ribble Valley recorded two, Chorley with 11, Fylde with two cases and Wyre just one new Covid case.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

On Easter Monday (April 5) the city recorded eight new cases.

South Ribble was up by ten new cases for the same day.

Wyre recorded just one case, Ribble Valley five, Fylde just two and Chorley recorded six cases.

Read more: Clayton-le-Woods woman does a year of daily runs to spread message of love and determination

The shape of infection rates in March

The chart below shows a steady first-half of the month for Preston, with infection rates well above 100 until the second-half of March when they dropped rapidly below 100.

However, in the final week of March the city’s infection rate has gone back above 100 and remained there.

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South Ribble on the other hand has seen the infection rate continue to fall away throughout March and is now at 62.3 per 100,000 people.

If you can’t see the chart below then tap here.

PM says everything on track for April 12 reopening

Hairdressers, shops and pub beer gardens are to re-open from Monday 12 April as planned said the Prime Minister.

In a Downing Street update to the nation the Prime Minister said the easing of restrictions in England was continuing along the roadmap set out.

Boris Johnson also added he was looking forward to a pint outside himself once restrictions eased next week.

Read more: Two Preston venues rewarded further Arts Council funding in Covid recovery fund

But he warned the country against complacency on the fight against Covid.

He said: “We can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes.

“We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will, and that’s why we are saying please get your vaccine – or your second dose – when your turn comes.”

You can watch the full Downing Street briefing below

Premises allowed to reopen on April 12 include non-essential shops, hairdressers and nail salons, gyms – for people going on their own or with their household, libraries, community centres, zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.

Self-contained accommodation including campsites and holiday lets will also be allowed to receive guests.

Bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors, but groups will be limited to two households or by the “rule of six”.

Read more: Places you can dine outside at in Preston and South Ribble from April 12

The government has also announced free twice-weekly Covid tests are to be offered to everyone in England – either through the post, or through collection at pharmacies or Covid test centres.

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The Prime Minister is facing growing pressure over any proposals for a Covid vaccine passport or Covid certificate, as a latest government review has indicated they may be needed.

The review suggested a certification scheme could have an “important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure” – but Mr Johnson faces opposition from MPs on both sides of the Commons who are concerned about the civil liberties implications.

A certificate could cover whether someone had received a vaccine, had a negative coronavirus test or had contracted and recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

See the latest coronavirus vaccine stats and information near you

The global travel taskforce review warned “the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries” meant it was impossible to say yet whether foreign holidays would be allowed from May 17, the date earmarked as the earliest possible for the resumption of international trips.

The expected introduction of Covid status certification faces opposition from MPs ranging from ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to the chairman of the powerful Tory backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady.

More than 70 MPs, including 40 Conservatives, have signed a pledge to oppose the “divisive and discriminatory use of Covid status certification”, suggesting the move could face defeat in the Commons.

Mr Johnson acknowledged there were “complicated ethical and practical issues”, particularly if the certificates were confined only to cover vaccines, which is why ministers were also considering test results and evidence of having natural antibodies.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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