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World Lancashire expected to be placed under tighter lockdown measures

03:06  18 september  2020
03:06  18 september  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections

  'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions - possibly as soon as next week - as the prime minister races to try and get a handle on the spread of coronavirus. With COVID-19 cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try to "short-circuit" the virus and slow the spread of the disease. Government figures stressed the plans being drawn up stopped short of a full national lockdown, as seen in the spring, when the country was told to "stay at home".

The restrictions for Lancashire , on which Mr Hancock is expected to be quizzed following a Mr Hancock confirmed the measures for the North East in a statement to the House of Commons on It is also being reported that Merseyside is to be placed under the same lockdown restrictions due to

Lancashire has agreed to move into tier three - the top level of England Covid restrictions - from Saturday. Steve Rotheram, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said he was "concerned that there appear to be differences between the two packages of measures , particularly the opening of

a man wearing a blue shirt: Residents of Preston are facing harsher lockdown measures © Getty Residents of Preston are facing harsher lockdown measures

Lancashire is to be the latest part of the UK to face strict coronavirus lockdown rules - with drastic new curbs being introduced this weekend, Sky News understands.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told senior MPs from the county that he will announce the clampdown in the morning and the rules will come into force on Saturday.

The coronavirus restrictions, similar to those being introduced in North East England, will cover the whole of Lancashire with the exception of two thirds of the seaside resort of Blackpool.

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Image: Lancashire is expected to be put in Tier 3. Burnley mayor Wajid Khan said it was "safe to say" the county will be placed in the top band of new measures and that is "what the evidence is Liverpool City Region is currently the only place under the highest category of the government's new

Some lockdown measures to remain 'for a long time'. Norway has also announced plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, with kindergartens now In the Czech Republic, the government has said some shops will reopen from Thursday, with rules to be relaxed on sporting activities that don't

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They will apply in the boroughs of Preston, Lancaster, Wyre, Fylde, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, and Rossendale.

Four of these boroughs - Hyndburn, Preston, Burnley, and Blackburn with Darwen - are among the 10 worst affected areas in England.

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Under this "high" alert level, there is a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and She said she remained "deeply concerned about the impact further lockdown will have on the capital's Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow in Essex, said he welcomed Tier 2 measures for the

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There is also speculation that another big city in northern England, Leeds, could also be added to the lockdown list by Mr Hancock.

In contrast with the North East, Lancashire's new local rules are not expected to feature a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on people mixing with others outside their household.

The restrictions for Lancashire, on which Mr Hancock is expected to be quizzed following a Commons statement on Monday, will outlaw socialising with different households in homes, private gardens, public parks, restaurants, and pub beer gardens.

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How the world shut down . The approaches to dealing with coronavirus across the world have been wide-ranging to say the least. When the virus first appeared, several countries brought in initial restrictions on flights from China, or required visitors from at-risk areas to be quarantined on arrival.

The government is considering a short period of tighter rules which could be announced in the next week, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said. The point of a national "circuit-break" would be to achieve a controlled drop in the levels of coronavirus without needing a full lockdown .

Shoppers, some wearing a face mask or covering, walk past an electronic billboard displaying a UK Government advert advising the public to take precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in Newcastle city centre, north-east England, on September 17, 2020. - The British government on Thursday announced new restrictions for northeast England, the latest region to see a surge in coronavirus cases as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a Shoppers, some wearing a face mask or covering, walk past an electronic billboard displaying a UK Government advert advising the public to take precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in Newcastle city centre, north-east England, on September 17, 2020. - The British government on Thursday announced new restrictions for northeast England, the latest region to see a surge in coronavirus cases as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a "second hump" in nationwide transmission. Residents in the northeast, which includes the cities of Newcastle and Sunderland, will no longer be allowed to socialise outside their own homes or support bubble from Friday onwards. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

There will also be curbs on using public transport, with advice urging people to use buses and trains only for essential trips such as education, work, and health appointments.

One senior Lancashire MP told Sky News the new rules were welcomed by the majority of MPs, Labour and Conservative, in the county.

"We want to get this over with as quickly as possible," the MP said.

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"We want this over by Christmas. We don't want to lose Christmas."

The government's decision, which is backed by Lancashire's council leaders and health chiefs, comes after the county saw its largest daily rise in new cases yet, with a further 250 people confirmed to have the virus

a group of people walking down the street: Members of the public walk through the city centre of Preston © Getty Members of the public walk through the city centre of Preston

It is unclear why parts of Blackpool are being left out of local restrictions.

Mr Hancock confirmed the measures for the North East in a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, following government talks with local councils and MPs.

They will take effect from Friday in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.

The restrictions will include:

  • Residents being told not to socialise with people outside their household or social bubble
  • Table service only in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • All bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other leisure and entertainment venues to close between 10pm and 5am

The UK recorded another 3,395 COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 21 more deaths.

Shoppers, some wearing a face mask or covering, walk past a sign alerting pedestrians to social distance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in Newcastle city centre, north-east England, on September 17, 2020. - The British government on Thursday announced new restrictions for northeast England, the latest region to see a surge in coronavirus cases as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a Shoppers, some wearing a face mask or covering, walk past a sign alerting pedestrians to social distance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in Newcastle city centre, north-east England, on September 17, 2020. - The British government on Thursday announced new restrictions for northeast England, the latest region to see a surge in coronavirus cases as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a "second hump" in nationwide transmission. Residents in the northeast, which includes the cities of Newcastle and Sunderland, will no longer be allowed to socialise outside their own homes or support bubble from Friday onwards. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Hancock told MPs: "Like many other countries around the world, we're continuing to see a concerning rise in cases.

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"And this week the number of patients in mechanical ventilator beds has risen above 100 for the first time since July.

"The battle against coronavirus is not over."

It is also being reported that Merseyside is to be placed under the same lockdown restrictions due to a soaring number of infections in some areas.

Liverpool's mayor said his city was on the verge of a local lockdown as its coronavirus infection rate went above 100 per 100,000 people.

Gallery: Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak around the UK (Photo Services)

A government announcement is expected on Friday, according to the Liverpool Echo.

It comes amid an escalating crisis around coronavirus testing across swathes of the country.

In scenes of "absolute pandemonium" and "chaos", drivers queued for hours as they tried to get a COVID-19 test at one site in London only to be turned away.

Meanwhile, the head of the government's Test and Trace service has said she doesn't believe "anybody was expecting to see the really sizeable increase in demand" for tests.

Staff waits in front of empty lanes of a Covid-19 drive thru testing facility at Twickenham stadium in London, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. Britain has imposed tougher restrictions on people and businesses in parts of northeastern England on Thursday as the nation attempts to stem the spread of COVID-19, although some testing facilities remain under-utilised. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Staff waits in front of empty lanes of a Covid-19 drive thru testing facility at Twickenham stadium in London, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. Britain has imposed tougher restrictions on people and businesses in parts of northeastern England on Thursday as the nation attempts to stem the spread of COVID-19, although some testing facilities remain under-utilised. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Baroness Dido Harding's remarks came after some residents in hotspots for the disease complained they were finding it difficult to get tested.

Reports have flooded in of people being told tests were unavailable or had to be done hundreds of miles away from where they lived.

As criticism of the government's preparedness for the surge in infections grew, Baroness Harding insisted that it had not been a "quiet summer" but admitted: "Plainly we don't have enough testing capacity."

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.


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COVID-19 takes a toll on public transport, speed camera revenue in Qld .
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