All of Lancashire's lockdown changes - as rules are tightened in some areas and relaxed in others

“Don’t mix or we’ll be in a fix” – that is the mantra which should guide everyday life in Lancashire as the county’s battle to contain the spread of coronavirus continues.

The message was delivered by Lancashire's director of public health, Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi, as it was announced that parts of Lancashire will be amongst the first in the country to face a more targeted approach, which will see stricter measures introduced in the worst affected areas – even within the same district.

That means parts of Blackburn will be subject to extra restrictions outlawing socialising in all settings with anybody other than those with whom you live, restricting numbers at major family gatherings like weddings to 20 people and requiring restaurants to be booked in advance for a maximum of six. Public transport should also only be used for "essential travel".

None of these rules prevent people from shopping, going to work or attending child-care settings, including schools.

Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi

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However, Darwen – part of the same council area as Blackburn – will come out of partial lockdown altogether and return to being governed by national rules, along with Rossendale.

Meanwhile, parts of Pendle will face the same additional measures as Blackburn, but the rest of the borough will remain under existing partial lockdown restrictions banning mixing between members of different households in homes, gardens and public indoor venues (see below for full breakdown of Pendle and Blackburn wards). These rules are also continuing in Preston, Burnley, and Hyndburn.

Lancashire County Council chief executive Angie Ridgwell admitted that the situation was “getting a little bit complicated” – and appealed to everybody to check the rules that applied in their area and stick to them to avoid the prospect of a blanket lockdown affecting more parts of the economy.

However, Dr. Karunanithi added that there was a simple underlying message that people should follow wherever they live in Lancashire – avoid mixing between households wherever there is the potential for it to occur.

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“Whether it’s inside each other’s [homes] or in restaurants, workplaces or any indoor settings – that is the key behaviour that is giving the virus the chance to spread.

“Unfortunately, it tends to [spread] between the people that we love most – we don’t want the virus to be shared as a gift between friends and members of different households,” Dr. Karunanithi said.

Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle are now the only areas of Lancashire in the top 10 nationally for the rate of Covid cases per 100,000 people. However, the figures have moved in the right direction in both areas.

Blackburn's rate (third-highest) fell to 67.5 (101 individual cases) in the week to 17th August from 81.5 (and 122 cases) a week earlier. Pendle's rate (fourth-highest) fell to 64.1 (59 individual cases) over the same period from 94.5 (and 87 cases) seven days earlier.

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Dr. Karunanithi said that residents in areas of Lancashire currently still governed by national restrictions should “take notice” of how tougher restrictions were having to be introduced in some other parts of the county – and added that everyone had “a role to play” in stemming the spread of Covod-19.

He also said that all of the different measures being taken across the county right now were designed to ensure that the planned return to school next month would not be derailed.

The county’s public health boss did not rule out further hyperlocal measures in areas where they were deemed necessary – but admitted that it was a matter of striking a balance between “clarity and geography”.

“The rationale for limiting [restrictions in] specific geographies [is] not to have an effect in areas where there isn’t a high level of infection. If this approach doesn’t work, we may need to go for bigger geography [of intervention],” Dr. Karunanithi said.

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He added that it was "a myth" to suggest a link between ethnicity and areas with higher Covid case numbers.

"What is actually driving this is that cases have been clustering in some wards [that] tend to be more associated with deprivation than ethnicity."

Meanwhile, Angie Ridgwell – who also chairs the Lancashire Resilience Forum, which is leading the county’s Covid response – issued a strong warning to businesses that are not sticking to the rules and making their operations as safe as they can be.

While she praised most firms for being “incredibly co-operative”, she added: “Where people don’t create a Covid secure environment for their customers and clients, we do have measures that we can use against them – and to protect those businesses that are being helpful, we would use those [powers] quite forcefully.”

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WHAT'S HAPPENING WHERE

Blackburn with Darwen

New, additional measures - outlawing all socialising in all settings other than with members of your household, limiting numbers at family gatherings to 20 people and recommending restaurants only accept diners who have booked in advance, up to a maximum of six per table - will apply in the following wards (these rules do not prevent people from shopping, going to work or attending child-care settings, including schools):

Audley & Queen’s Park

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Bastwell & Daisyfield

Billinge & Beardwood

Blackburn Central

Little Harwood & Whitebirk

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Roe Lee

Shear Brow & Corporation Park

Wensley Fold

The following areas return to be governed by national rules, having been under partial lockdown since last month:

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Blackburn South & Lower Darwen

Blackburn South East

Darwen East

Darwen South

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Darwen West

Ewood

Livesey with Pleasington

Mill Hill & Moorgate

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West Pennine

Blackpool

National rules apply

Burnley

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Existing restrictions continue - banning mixing between members of different households in homes, gardens and public indoor venues.

Chorley

National rules apply

Fylde

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National rules apply

Hyndburn

Existing restrictions continue - banning mixing between members of different households in homes, gardens and public indoor venues.

Lancaster

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National rules apply

Pendle

Existing restrictions continue - banning mixing between members of different households in homes, gardens and public indoor venues - in most of the borough.

However, additional measures - outlawing all socialising in all settings other than with members of your household, limiting numbers at family gatherings to 20 people and recommending restaurants only accept diners who have booked in advance, up to a maximum of six per table - will apply in the following wards (these rules do not prevent people from shopping, going to work or attending child-care settings, including schools):

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Whitefield

Walverden

Southfield

Bradley

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Clover Hill

Brierfield

Marsden

Preston

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Existing restrictions continue - banning mixing between members of different households in homes, gardens and public indoor venues.

Ribble Valley

National rules apply

Rossendale

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Return to be governed by national rules, having been under partial lockdown since last month.

South Ribble

National rules apply

West Lancashire

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National rules apply

Wyre

National rules apply