Latest coronavirus figures have been confirmed for Preston and South Ribble as the city and county awaits the tiers review decision from the government.
Preston City Council’s leader say it’s unlikely the city will see any change it the restrictions before Christmas.
It comes as the government is said to be reviewing the current plan to relax the restrictions over the Christmas period amid mounting rising infections and Covid-19 related deaths across the UK.
Preston’s confirmed cases for Tuesday (15 December) showed as 45 new cases.
South Ribble saw 22 coronavirus cases for the same day.
Wyre recorded 24 new cases, Ribble Valley had one of its largest daily increases with 33 and Fylde saw just 10 new cases.
The infection rate for Preston is now 222.9 cases per 100,000 for the seven days to December 11, up from 202.6 cases per 100,000 for the seven days to December 4.
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South Ribble saw a small week-on-week increase, up to 178.7 from 174.2 for the same date periods.
Wyre is up at 122.2, from 115.1 and Fylde also saw a small increase, up to 113.9 from 104.
Ribble Valley’s infection rate is rising rapidly, now up at 215.1 cases per 100,000 people, from 141.2 for the previous seven day period.
Preston looks set for tier-2, city leader speaks out
The government will announce whether there’s any change to the tier-3 decision for Preston, and all of Lancashire, during the course of Wednesday (16 December).
Preston City Council’s leader councillor Matthew Brown says it is looking increasingly unlikely there will be any change.
He said: “The effect of Tier 3 restrictions have been felt by everyone in the city and I remain gravely concerned about their effects on our hospitality and culture sectors who rely heavily on the festive period. However, while case numbers in Preston and throughout Lancashire remain high, especially in the over 60’s, it is unlikely that we will be placed into Tier 2 before Christmas.
“I understand that if this is the case after the government’s review this week, it this will come as frustrating news for everyone who has sacrificed so much by living under these restrictions in our fight against the virus. I also feel more need to be done to tackle infection rates in settings which are highest such as the educational sector and continue to make appropriate representations which if enacted open the possibility to explore less stringent restrictions in areas comparatively low such as hospitality.
“Now more than ever it is vital that we take extra precautions to protect ourselves and loved ones an exercise caution over the festive period. Winter is already a tough time for our NHS and any steps we can take to reduce the rate of infection will prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
“If we continue to follow the rules and do the basic things like washing our hands, wearing face coverings and giving each other space we will be in a stronger position to be placed into Tier 2 in the New Year.”
Elsewhere and LancsLive is reporting the Lancashire Resilience Forum is preparing for the county to remain in tier-3 restrictions.
Pressure grows to scrap Christmas restrictions relaxation
The four nations of the UK agreed to a five-day relaxation of the restrictions for the Christmas period.
Allowing up to three households to meet indoors during the festive season.
But pressure is growing from scientific and medical groups to shortern the time from five days, December 23-27, to three days.
It’s understood cabinet officer minister Michael Gove is chairing urgent talks between the devolved nation governments, particularly Wales where cases are rising rapidly, about any change in the restrictions.
The Welsh Government has confirmed First Minister Mark Drakeford will meet with leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Wednesday afternoon for further discussions on the UK’s joint approach to Christmas.
A Welsh Government spokesman told the Press Association: “Talks will reconvene tomorrow. Nothing has been decided at this point.”
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