New lockdown updates expected this afternoon from county's coronavirus taskforce

The taskforce leading Lancashire's response to coronavirus are expected to make further announcements this afternoon (August 21).
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It is not known at this stage what new information will be released, but Lancashire Resilience Forum is expected to inform the county of any changes later today.

The Government is understood to have spoken with the county's chief coronavirus strategists as it reviews the restrictions currently in place in Preston, Blackburn and across East Lancashire.

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Earlier today, Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, revealed that his constituency was being brought out of lockdown, whilst neighbouring Blackburn would remain under strict conditions.

Preston has been under a local lockdown for several weeksPreston has been under a local lockdown for several weeks
Preston has been under a local lockdown for several weeks

In a video announcement (see video above), the Conservative MP said the decision had been confirmed to him by health secretary Matt Hancock this morning.

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, said: "I've just come off the phone with Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health.

"He's been able to confirm today that we are taking a much more targeted approach, and because of that huge effort all of us have made to control the virus, Rossendale and Darwen will now be coming out of the increased restrictions we have seen over the last few weeks."

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The move will leave the districts of East Lancashire split in terms of lockdown, with Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle remaining "areas of intervention" under the strict conditions imposed on July 31.

Earlier this week, those who are clinically vulnerable in Blackburn with Darwen were told to continue shielding for another three weeks. They have been advised to remain indoors and to reduce social contact.

We will be bringing you all the latest updates in our live news blog as soon as they are made available this afternoon.