Lancashire is placed into Tier 3 as Government enforces tightest restrictions on county

Lancashire has been placed into Tier 3 - the tightest level of restrictions - after the national lockdown is lifted next week, says the Government.

By Matthew Calderbank
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 11:49 am
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 3:38 pm

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now confirmed that Lancashire will be in Tier 3 (Very High Alert) when national lockdown is lifted on Wednesday, December 2.

The new restrictions apply to the whole of Lancashire, including Preston, Blackpool, South Ribble, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley and Pendle.

A review of the new tier system is scheduled for December 16.

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The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now confirmed which tier each local authority in Lancashire and across England will fall under after the end of the national lockdown on Wednesday, December 2

In Tier 3, there can be no mixing of households indoors or in most outdoor places, with hospitality venues closed except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery. Travel outside the area should also be avoided, said the Health Secretary.

Manchester will also enter Tier 3, whereas Liverpool and London have been placed into the less restrictive Tier 2, meaning pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen as long as they serve a substantial meal.

The tiered system has been strengthened since the original rules were in place before lockdown, with many more areas in the higher tiers in a bid to keep infection rates down.

Mr Hancock said: "Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice made by people up and down the country, we are able to move out of national lockdown and into more targeted local, tiered restrictions.

"I know for those of you faced with Tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding.

"By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures."

How have the Tier levels been decided?

Lancashire’s council leaders had submitted a proposal to the Government to divide the county into two different tiers after the national lockdown is lifted, but this suggestion has not been adopted by the Government.

The Council's recommendations had been for Preston, as well as the East Lancashire boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley and Pendle to go into Tier 3 restrictions, whilst Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble, Ribble Valley and West Lancashire would go into Tier 2.

The Department of Health said decisions on tier levels had been based on a number of factors, including case detection rates in all age groups and, in particular, amongst the over 60s.

How quickly case rates are rising or falling had also be taken into account, as had local pressure on the NHS, including current and projected capacity.

The final decisions were then made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Covid Operations Committee, the Government said.

What's the difference in Tiers?

Differences between the new tiers include restrictions on where households can meet up:

Tier one - the rule of six applies everywhere, indoors and out

Tier two - the rule of six applies outdoors but there is no household mixing anywhere indoors

Tier three - can only meet other households in outdoor public spaces like parks, where the rule of six applies

What happens now?

The health secretary said areas placed in Tier 3 will be offered support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme, making use of rapid lateral flow tests which give results within an hour.

A review of the new tier system is scheduled for December 16.

The return to the tier system in England comes as scientists warned easing coronavirus restrictions over Christmas could lead to a third wave of the pandemic and another national lockdown in the New Year.

Following today's announcement, the Prime Minister has urged the public to "think carefully" over the festive period after it was confirmed that three households will be able to form a Christmas "bubble" from December 23 to 27.

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This is every confirmed case of Covid in the North West on Thursday, November 26...

What are the latest figures?

Government figures showed a further 696 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday (November 25), with the UK deaths total now standing at 56,533.

A further 18,213 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported nationally on Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 1,557,008 since testing began.

In the North West today (Thursday, November 26, 2020), there has been a total of 298,210 confirmed cases since testing began, with a daily increase of 2,097 on Wedneday.

There are currently 2,746 people in North West hospitals who are being treated for COVID-19, including 229 on ventilation.

A total of 33,638​ people have received treatment for the virus at North West hospitals since the pandemic began.

The total number of North West deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate now stands at 10,456​, with 9,782 of those recorded within 28 days of a positive test.

You can view the latest figures for each area in the North West here.