West Lancs ‘to join’ lockdown list as Merseyside expects the same

Ormskirk and Skelmersdale are expected to placed under local lockdown measures on Friday, along with Merseyside.

The West Lancashire towns could see new restrictions announced as the North West regions are believed to be following suit from the North East who were put back into lockdown on Thursday.

Areas such as Preston, Lancaster, Wyre, Fylde, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, and Rossendale are expected to be impacted.

Merseyside is also expecting to be placed under restrictions at least as severe as those imposed on the North East.

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Officials have now been told by government that the new measures placed on the entire region will be the same as those brought in for the North East today.

It is also understood Halton and Warrington could be hit with the same restrictions, although this has not been confirmed.

The only difference could be that there could be some further restrictions because of Merseyside's even higher infection levels.

Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens all have infection rates over 100 cases per 100,000 people – higher levels than any of those North East areas hit with restrictions today.

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On Thursday Matt Hancock announced the new restrictions for the North East, which are:

  • residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
  • hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am

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Residents in the region are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues.
  • only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • take holidays only within your own household or support bubble
  • avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators

Senior sources have told the ECHO that communications from government indicate the same measures will be brought in for the entire Merseyside region on Friday.

It is not known exactly when an announcement will be officially made, but leaders and officials have been told to expect the same treatment as the North East.

Speaking at a business event earlier today, Liverpool's Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton said he fully expected the lockdown measures for Merseyside to be "in line" with those in the North East.

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He said: "The North East [had just announced] their measures, and I don't know what measures will be announced for us tomorrow.

"But I would expect whatever happens to be in line with what's being announced in the North East.

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"For broader context, the rate of infection we are seeing in the North West are higher than the rate in the North East.

"The fact the North East is doing something makes me think it's highly suggestive that whatever they do, the North West will follow."

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