Ormskirk Advertiser

West Lancs feels the force of lock­down re­stric­tions

- BY JAMIE LOPEZ Society · Liverpool · Reading F.C. · England · Chorley

PEO­PLE in West Lan­cashire are banned from meet­ing fam­ily and friends in homes and gar­dens un­der new re­stric­tions brought in this week.

The new rules came into ef­fect on Tues­day and re­strict any meet­ing of more than one house­hold or bub­ble in a pri­vate lo­ca­tion.

How­ever, peo­ple can still meet up in the likes of pubs and restau­rants pro­vid­ing so­cial dis­tanc­ing is main­tained and groups do not ex­ceed six peo­ple.

The new rules were brought in to tackle “ex­po­nen­tially ris­ing” rates of Covid-19 across the re­gion and cover all of Mersey­side and most of Lan­cashire.

West Lan­cashire was in­cluded in those changes de­spite record­ing rates of 56 cases per 100,000 peo­ple, around half of those seen in Liver­pool and Pre­ston.

Bizarrely, and in a de­ci­sion which has yet to be fully ex­plained by the Gov­ern­ment, Black­pool was not in­cluded in the re­stric­tions de­spite hav­ing higher rates than ar­eas in­clud­ing West Lan­cashire, Chor­ley and South Rib­ble.

In a fur­ther an­nounce­ment, Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock stated an ex­emp­tion will be put in place to al­low peo­ple to look af­ter chil­dren from other house­holds so that par­ents can con­tinue to work.

Mr Han­cock said the ex­emp­tion would cover chil­dren aged un­der 14 and vul­ner­a­ble adults, adding: “This cov­ers both for­mal and in­for­mal ar­range­ments. It does not al­low for play-dates or par­ties, but it does mean that a con­sis­tent child­care re­la­tion­ship that is vi­tal for some­body to get to work is al­lowed.”

Other changes brought in as part of the lo­cal re­stric­tions in­clude the clo­sure of pubs and other venues at 10pm, though that has since been ex­tended to cover the whole of Eng­land from Tues­day.

Peo­ple are also ad­vised to only use pub­lic trans­port for es­sen­tial pur­poses and to avoid at­tend­ing am­a­teur and semi-pro­fes­sional sport­ing events as spec­ta­tors.

Those in ar­eas with lo­cal re­stric­tions are still al­lowed to go on hol­i­day but are ad­vised to only do so with peo­ple in their house­hold bub­bles and, if trav­el­ling abroad, must ob­serve any rel­e­vant self-iso­la­tion rules.

In other na­tional changes, shop­work­ers and peo­ple in taxis are legally ob­li­gated to wear face cov­er­ings and busi­nesses can be fined up to £10,000 if they breach Covid re­stric­tions. In re­tail, leisure and tourism and other sec­tors, the Covid­se­cure guide­lines have be­come le­gal obli­ga­tions.

From Mon­day only 15 peo­ple will be able to at­tend wed­dings, but 30 can still at­tend fu­ner­als and the rule of six now ap­plies to all adult in­door team sports.

Busi­ness con­fer­ences, ex­hi­bi­tions and large sport­ing events will not be able to re­open as planned from Oc­to­ber 1.

In a di­rect re­ver­sal from just two weeks ago, the Gov­ern­ment is now ad­vis­ing peo­ple to work from home if pos­si­ble.

Coun­cil­lor Ian Mo­ran, leader of West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil, said: “It’s re­ally sad that these new mea­sures have had to be in­tro­duced which have been im­posed on us with­out con­sul­ta­tion by na­tional gov­ern­ment. I would urge ev­ery­one in West Lan­cashire to stick to the new rules so we can beat coro­n­avirus to­gether. If we don’t we could face fur­ther re­stric­tions or even a full lo­cal lock­down.”

 ??  ?? Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock
Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock
 ??  ?? Wanes Blades Bridge
Wanes Blades Bridge

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