Lancashire set for 'tier three' restrictions

It has been confirmed that Lancashire is to move into the highest level of social distancing restrictions from this weekend.

Under the 'tier three' restrictions, different households will be banned from mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens. Pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving substantial meals and there is also guidance against travelling in and out of the area.

However, unlike in other areas of the UK, gyms and leisure facilities will not be forced to close.

It had been rumoured that the county, which has a higher than average infection rate, was set to move up from level two (high) to level three (very high). And now it has been confirmed that the delay was due to the county council negotiating a £42m funding package to support businesses affected by the closures. 

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, explained: "After major negotiations with government, we have agreed a bespoke deal for Lancashire that means our businesses and residents will receive extra support that will not be available elsewhere in the country.

"These new restrictions will affect us all, but we know they will be particularly harsh on those who make their living in our hospitality sector. It is a vital and valued part of our economy and we are all committed to maximising the support we can give as a result of this deal."

The restrictions

• Pubs and bars are to close from 0001 on Saturday and residents will only be allowed to socialise with people they live with or those in their social bubble in any indoor setting or private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.

From 0001 on Monday, the following venues will also close:
• Licensed clubs
• Adult gaming centres
• Bingo halls
• Casinos
• Bookmakers and betting shops
• Children's soft play centres

Car boot sales will also be prohibited, and universities are being asked to move to remote learning where possible.