Has Blackburn gone into lockdown and what are the new rules?

Has Blackburn gone into lockdown and what are the new rules?

August 22, 2020

BLACKBURN residents have to obey new restrictions after new rules were brought in from midnight on Saturday to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Locals in Oldham and parts of Pendle are subject to the same restrictions.

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Has Blackburn gone into lockdown?

A full lockdown hasn’t been imposed on Blackburn but locals have been told they can no longer meet up with anyone from outside their household.

The restrictions cover eight wards in Blackburn, mainly in central and northern parts of the city.

More testing will also take place to try and monitor where the coronavirus is spreading.

What are the new rules?

People will not be able to meet up in parks or pubs with anyone – except the people they live with.

Schools will still open and residents of the areas affected by the tighter restrictions will still be able to go to work.

Pubs, restaurants and offices can remain open, but extra restrictions on social interaction will come into play.

Local restaurants will also be encouraged to halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of 6 people per table.

The number of people able to attend weddings and funerals will be slashed to 20.

Residents are also not to use public transport unless necessary, in a significant tightening of the rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “To prevent a second peak and keep Covid-19 under control, we need robust, targeted intervention where we see a spike in cases. Our approach is to make the action we take as targeted as possible.”

Cllr Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “We know that our residents have been making huge sacrifices and that businesses are struggling.

“We desperately needed to prevent the threat of a full, borough-wide lockdown as this would have been devastating.

“We will continue with our important work fighting this infection at a really local level – focusing our resources and efforts on our residents who need it most.”

Why have the latest restrictions happened?

Since July, the government has been introducing extra restrictions in parts of northern England after a spike in coronavirus cases.

A government spokesman said the "sharp rise" in confirmed cases was partly due to a major increase in testing led by local councils.

He added the spike "continues to be due to social mixing between younger age groups of 20-39 year olds".

Where else has restrictions?

Birmingham has been added to this week’s watchlist as an "area of enhanced support", meaning it will receive extra resources for additional testing and contact tracing.

Northampton is now an “area of intervention” placing it in the highest risk category and requiring the most support.

Several areas across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester have already faced tougher restrictions for more than two weeks.

The tighter rules though will be removed in Wigan, Darwen and Rossendale on August 26, after they recorded lower infection rates than other areas.

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