Coronavirus: Lancashire expected to be placed under tighter lockdown measures | UK News

Lancashire will be placed under tighter lockdown measures with an announcement confirming the move tomorrow, Sky News understands.

The new coronavirus restrictions are expected to exclude Blackpool and will mirror those which come into force in the North East at midnight tonight.

It will include the city of Preston, along with towns including Blackburn, Burnley, Lancaster and Morecambe.

As with the North East, new local rules will feature a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on people mixing with others outside their household.

Health Secretary Matt 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.

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

“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.

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

Members of the public walk through the city centre of Preston

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.

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.

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Bodies found in Lancashire sea search for missing Dewsbury brothers

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Lancashire Constabulary

Image caption

Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, left, and his brother Ali Athar Shabbir got into difficulty in the sea

Bodies have been found in the search for two brothers missing off the Lancashire coast.

Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, and Ali Athar Shabbir, 16, got into difficulty in the sea at Lytham St Annes on Saturday along with their cousin.

Their cousin, aged 15, managed to swim ashore and was treated for hypothermia.

Lancashire Police said the family of the brothers from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has been informed after the bodies were found.

The HM Coastguard and RNLI made the discovery about a mile away from St Annes Pier on Sunday afternoon.

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Crews searched late into the night for the brothers and resumed their efforts on Sunday

“Whilst they have yet to be formally identified, they are believed to be Muhammad and Ali,” Lancashire Police said.

“Our thoughts and condolences remain with them and their friends at this incredibly distressing time.”

The family is being supported by a specially trained officer.

Their cousin, who has not been named, remains in hospital.

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