Lancashire avoids moving into Tier 4 lockdown, confirms Government
The whole of Lancashire will remain in Tier 3 following a Government review of England's tier system today (Wednesday, December 23).
It means pubs, bars and restaurants will stay closed in Lancashire and people should continue to avoid mixing socially indoors until the next review of the tier system.
The news comes after rumours Lancashire would be moved into Tier 4 on Boxing Day prior to the review on December 30 amid fears the mutant strain is now "everywhere".
However, speaking at today's press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock did confirm large parts of England would join London and the South East in Tier 4 from Boxing Day.
He said: "We've seen case rates rise in some of the places close to where the current Tier 4.
"It is therefore necessary to put more of the east and southeast of England into Tier 4.
"We're also taking action in parts of the southwest where there are some early signs of the new variant and where cases are rising."
From 12.01am on Boxing Day Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridehsire, Waverley and Hampshire will move to Tier 4
Bristol, Gloucesterhsire, Somerset, Swindon, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Northants, Cheshire and Warrington will go to Tier 3.
It's thought today's changes put around six million more people into Tier 4 who weren't in it before.
The new variant is believed to be between 50 per cent to 70 per cent more transmissible than other strains of the virus, but is not thought to be any more or any less deadly.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday (December 22), Lancashire's director of public health Dr Sakthi Karunanithi said it was not "inevitable" that the county would enter Tier 4.
However he added they were preparing for it in case it did happen and if cases continued to rise.
Dr Sakthi said: "We are trying to at best avoid it and at least delay it.
"There is a chance we can avoid Tier 4 or delay it for as long as we can. Let's not accept it's an inevitability."
Lancashire Resilience Forum chair Angie Ridgwell said a move to Tier 4 "would be tremendously unhelpful".
She said whatever decision was made would have a negative impact on people's lives.
"The impact on Lancashire has been harsh already. We have certain structural issues we can't change."
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