Lancashire has today been named an "area of intervention", alongside Merseyside and Warrington, with significant changes curtailing social contact.
The new measures will cover Preston, South Ribble, Chorley, Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley, West Lancashire, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster and the Ribble Valley, but Blackpool has been excluded.
In Lancashire (excluding Blackpool), regulations will enforce the following restrictions from Tuesday, September 22.
‘How a car crash saved my life’: Royal Preston patient recalls chance cancer diagnosis as hospital’s major trauma centre marks tenth anniversary
Preston great-grandmother who arrived in UK a penniless refugee gives £5k gift to renal unit at Royal Preston Hospital
Lancaster teen who won legal battle undergoes lifesaving kidney transplant
New investigation finds that no NHS dentists in Lancashire are taking on new patients
Cost of living crisis: Preston community centre hires mental health expert to help locals struggling with soaring food and energy prices
- Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
- Venues serving food and drink will be restricted to table service only
- Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am
Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:
- Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
- Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators
In Preston, the following local restrictions (which came into force on August 7) also continue to apply:
- You cannot have others in your homes and gardens
- You cannot visit other people's homes or gardens, even if they are in an unaffected area
- You are not permitted to mix with other households in indoor venues (including homes, bars, restaurants and cafes)
Why is this happening in Lancashire?
The Government has brought in the extra restrictions to curb rising infection rates across the county, with agreement and in collaboration with local leaders.
The new regulations and guidance come into force from Tuesday (September 22) and no end-date for the restrictions has been put forward at this stage.
These changes are in addition to the ‘Rule of six’ which was introduced nationwide on Monday, limiting the number of people who can gather indoors or outdoors to six.
This rule is in place across the country and will sit alongside additional restrictions in local areas.
The new measures follow close discussions between health secretary Matt Hancock, local leaders, NHS Test and Trace chiefs, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), and the Chief Medical Officer for England, who have all agreed to introduce the measures to stem the rise of COVID-19 in Lancashire.
Statement from Government health secretary Matt Hancock
Health secretary, Matt Hancock said: "We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.
"Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them.
"I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission.
"I urge local people to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember ‘hands, face, space’. By sticking to these steps, we will get through this together."