Lancashire to hold crunch Covid restrictions meeting with government - hours before expected announcement

Lancashire’s political leaders will hold further talks with the government early this afternoon as they continue to seek agreement over additional lockdown measures for the county.

By Paul Faulkner
Monday, 12th October 2020, 1:02 pm
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 2:06 pm

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands that the virtual call will take place at 1.30 – just two hours before Boris Johnson is due to make a statement in the Commons on how different parts of the country will be categorised under a new system of three-tier restrictions.

It will be the fourth day in a row that the council leaders have met with government officials – although on this occasion, it is thought that communities and local government secretary Robert Jenrick could also be taking part in the discussions.

As the LDRS revealed yesterday evening, there has so far been no agreement on the measures to be introduced in the county – and continuing uncertainty about exactly where different restrictions might apply.

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Lancashire's council leaders have been having talks with the government for four days in a row

It is understood that the government has asked the county’s leaders to agree which district and unitary council areas should be placed into tier 3 and which into tier 2 as part of the new arrangements – but without giving them an definitive written definition of what each category entails.

Media reports have suggested that hospitality venues will be shut in tier 3 areas and legally enforceable bans introduced on household mixing in all indoor and outdoor settings under tier 2.

Lancashire wants the latter, but not the former – citing figures that just 14 percent of Covid cases in the region can be traced to pubs and restaurants.

The county has also demanded a multi-million pound package of support for businesses, the care and education sectors and for enforcement of coronavirus regulations – with leaders saying that they want a commitment to that before deciding anything else.