Local lockdown restrictions will be enforced across Lancashire from today in an attempt to “curb rising infection rates” of the coronavirus.
But with much confusion over what the new restrictions mean for people in the county, what exactly are you allowed to do? And what can you be fined for?
- Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household on an exclusive basis.
Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.
People can still come inside your home or garden for specific purposes including where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble, to attend a birth at the mother’s request or to visit a person who is dying.
- Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and late-night operating hours will be restricted
Businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between 10pm and 5am but only for delivery service in response to orders received through a website or by telephone.
- Leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
Hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table.
They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises.
- People are also advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
- People must avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
People who are shielding in the eight Blackburn wards currently under local restrictions will no longer need to from October 5, bringing them into line with the rest of Blackburn with Darwen where shielding is already due to pause Monday.
However, on Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said local lockdown restrictions in England will be eased to allow people to look after children or vulnerable adults from outside their household – so grandparents will still be able to take care of their grandchildren.
Mr Hancock acknowledged that such arrangements were a “lifeline” for many people, and without them they were unable to do their jobs.
But he said the exemption would not allow parents to send their children to “play dates or parties” with friends from another household.
Mr Hancock told MPs: “I’ve heard their concerns about the impact of local action on childcare arrangements
“For many, informal childcare arrangements are a lifeline without which they couldn’t do their jobs.
“So today I’m able to announce a new exemption for looking after children under the age of 14 or vulnerable adults, where that is necessary for caring purposes.
“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.”
What happens if you flout the new rules?
Technically, those who flout the rules can be fined up to a maximum of £3,200.
People over the age of 18 can be fined £100 for one offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days. £200 for a second offence, and then it doubles each time until you reach the £3,200 threshold.
The Government has also introduced fines for those who hold illegal gatherings of more than 30 people.
Holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people is an offence and police may issue fixed penalty notices of £10,000 to those who break the law.
The new restrictions apply to Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, Preston, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and South Ribble, West Lancashire, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster and Ribble Valley.
Additionally, in an announcement set to take place today, Boris Johnson is expected to set out rules meaning that pubs, bars and restaurants across the whole of England will be forced to close by 10pm from Thursday, September, 24.