Preston lockdown: Locals say rules need to be clearer

The drive-through coronavirus testing facility at Preston's College Pic StePNE

The chief executive at Preston City Council, Adrian Phillips announced: "It is clear that coronavirus is still here and we all need to work together to keep ourselves, our friends, families and communities safe from this virus".

Guidance issued for Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire said people should continue to socially distance from anyone they do not live with and avoid physical contact.

The DHSC said that restrictions in those areas will remain in place for another week.

Households in the Lancashire city can no longer mix in each other's homes and gardens and should not be meeting up with other people anywhere indoors.

Last week Lancashire's Director of Public Health warned that the city of Preston was "on the radar" for local lockdown.

He added: "These two are key behaviours we're trying to protect people from".

The rate of new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in Preston has jumped from 21.7 in the seven days to July 28 to 42.6 in the week up to August 4, according to new PHE data.

Restrictions will be reviewed again next week with any changes announced by Friday.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire's director of public health, told BBC Breakfast that "47% of positive cases are in younger people - 30 years and below".

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, stated that the decision to implement stricter restrictions in Preston is essential as: "the data does not yet show a decrease in the transmission of this bad virus".

Leicester became the first United Kingdom city to go back into full lockdown at the start of July, just as restrictions were eased across the rest of England.

"We are constantly examining the data on the prevalence of the virus in these areas, and we will review the measures again next week".

She added: "The Government must act now to reassure people in the Preston area that they are managing this serious outbreak".

"This is hard when the Prime Minister has yet again brought in a regional lockdown without a press conference or any parliamentary scrutiny".

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said that the tough new measures were introduced "at the request of the local area".

- Why have the new restrictions been kept in place on the other areas?

- Have shops, bars, restaurants and other local businesses had to close down?

The new restrictions for Preston came after it was designated an "area of intervention" by the British government.

People will still be able to meet in groups of two households, or six people from any number of households, in "outdoor public spaces" - but not in people's gardens. They are also not permitted to mix with other household in indoor venues.

The reproduction number - referred to as R - for the United Kingdom is between 0.8 to 1, but Sage indicated it could be higher across England.

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