It has been announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock today that all of Lancashire apart from Blackpool will receive central government support due to rising cases in the Delta variant of Covid-19.Advertisement
New guidance has also been issued for the area, and includes advice not to meet people indoors as well as avoiding non-essential travel.
Read more: Lancashire County Council recruiting new team to drive Covid economy recovery
Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “Whilst I welcome the additional support and focus on testing and vaccination roll-out in Preston, in order to better protect our residents against new variants of the virus I am disappointed previous requests for assistance from government including a request for vaccine prioritisation in early March was not forthcoming meaning we could have got on top of Covid-19 sooner.
“However, now is the time for us all to consider our individual role in stopping the spread of the virus, by regularly self-testing, being vaccinated when eligible and of course, the fundamental hands, face, and space guidance.
“Preston is not shut for business, and this is not a travel ban. But we all have a role to play now to stop the spread of the virus and its variants going further, protecting our communities and families.”
Read more: Most areas of Preston and South Ribble seeing a rise in Covid cases in seven days to June 2
Mr Hancock said that this package is “what’s working in Bolton” as they have had similar support to lower their cases.
The new support package includes:
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “The Government has listened to our calls and has now agreed to provide Lancashire with enhanced support, which gives us more flexibility to fight this new wave of infections.
“As well as securing first doses for those who have not had one, it is also vital that we get people fully vaccinated with two doses, as this will offer maximum protection against the Delta variant.
“Anyone who is over 18, subject to eligibility, can book their jab now. Over the coming weeks we will be offering the vaccine in more convenient locations. Some of these will be walk-in and people will be encouraged to pop along and discuss their eligibility if they are unsure.”
Denise Park, chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum’s Recovery Coordination Group, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but one thing Covid has taught us is that we can never count it out – and we must all work together as we have done throughout the pandemic to keep our communities safe.”
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