Lancashire faces being placed into Tier Three, warn council leaders

Cllr Geoff Driver
X The Business Desk

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Lancashire could be placed into Tier Three of the Government’s coronavirus alerts system soon.

That was the warning from county councillors following yesterday’s announcement that the county has been placed into Tier Two, the ‘high alert’ status. Liverpool City Region was placed into the highest category, Tier Three.

However, Lancashire has been warned by the Government that it is highly likely that some, or all, of Lancashire will be put into the most severe Tier Three soon.

Lancashire’s leaders are clear that any additional restrictions must be accompanied by a full package of support for the county’s residents and businesses.

Speaking on behalf of Lancashire’s 15 political leaders, Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The stark truth is that Lancashire has some of the highest infection rates in the country and it is highly likely that more restrictions are on their way.
“Our job is to make sure that we get the best possible package of support for Lancashire people and, as our talks with government continue, we will fight for that on your behalf.”

Tier Two means that – for now – bars and pubs will not be closed in the county after Lancashire leaders won a last-minute reprieve from government.

It also means any indoor socialising is banned across Lancashire.

That means people can’t meet up with anyone they don’t live with, whether in a home, a bar or restaurant, or any other social setting – unless they are part of a bubble.

It is possible to meet people outside, in places like parks and beer gardens, but people must abide by the rule of six – and must keep their distance.

If people have a garden they can have people there now. If some or all of Lancashire goes into Tier Three, then garden socialising will once again be banned.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council’s director of public health, said: “We have had restrictions on our lives since March and we are all tired, but with infections on the rise it is now more important than ever that we play our part to prevent its spread.

“Lives are at stake here, and it could be the lives of the people closest to you.

“The most important thing you can do when you interact with people you don’t live with is to keep your distance.

“Combined with regular handwashing and wearing a mask this vastly reduces your risk of getting infected or passing it on if you have it.

“I’ve got a simple message – hands, face, space actually works. Please follow it to protect you and those you love.”

The new system will be debated in Parliament today (October 13), with the tiers expected to be introduced on Wednesday.