BREAKING: Lancashire to remain in Tier 3 after government review
Lancashire will remain under Tier 3 Covid restrictions after the government review of the system is announced shortly, the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands.
Multiple local sources say that they have been advised that there will be no change to the regulations, which will now remain in place - other than for a five-day Christmas window - through until the new year.
It is understood that no area of the North West will move tiers.
For Lancashire, that means hospitality venues will continue to be restricted to takeaway service only and household mixing in all indoor and most outdoor settings will remain banned.
Lancashire County Council's director of public health last week recommended that the County Hall-controlled area should remain in Tier 3. However, his counterpart in Blackpool had called for the resort to be moved down to Tier 2.
Data published on Wednesday - as the government was making its decision - showed that Lancashire's rolling seven-day case rate (to 13th December) was higher than on 26th November, when it was announced that Lancashire would be put into Tier 3 after the national lockdown - 198.9 per 100,000 people compared to 176.6. The county is only fractionally above the England average of 196.3.
Half of Lancashire's districts currently have a higher rolling seven-day Covid case rate than on the day of the first post-lockdown Tier 3 announcement three weeks ago - Burnley, Chorley, Lancaster, Preston, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire and Wyre.
Rates have falen over the same period in Blackburn, Blackpool, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale and South Ribble.
However, the over-60s case rate - one of the government's other key criteria for assessing the tiering arrangements - is not pointing in a good direction across the county as a whole. The average rate in that age group in Lancashire is 179.3, compared to the England average of 133.0 in the seven days to 11th December.
It is above 200 per 100,000 people in three areas - Preston, Blackburn and Chorley.
COVID CASE RATES
Coronavirus cases per 100,000 of the population in the week to 13th Dec (compared to the day Tier 3 decision was made on 26th Nov) - and in the over-60s age band in the week to 11th Dec.
Blackburn with Darwen
233.1 (down from 286.6)
Over-60s - 234.7
159.2 (down from 168.5)
Over-60s - 187.8
318.3 (up from 280.0)
Over-60s - 191.9
204.7 (up from 190.3)
Over-60s - 225.8
120.1 (down from 157.2)
Over-60s - 103.4
206.1 (down from 266.5)
Over-60s - 169.8
137.6 (up from 123.9)
Over-60s - 141.3
257.3 (down from 293.1)
Over-60s - 194.6
215.2 (up from 199.8)
Over 60s - 241.4
231.6(up from 182.3)
Over-60s - 181.8
221.0 (down from 278.4)
Over-60s - 141.4
167.9 (down from 237.4)
Over-60s - 186.3
187.2 (up from 113.7)
125.8 (up from 119.5)
Over-60s - 169.5
Lancashire overall case average (week to 13th Dec) - 198.9
England overall case average (week to 13th Dec) - 196.3
Over-60s Lancashire average (week to 11th Dec) - 179.3
Over-60s England average (week to 11th Dec) - 133.0