Covid-19 household restrictions eased in Burnley and Hyndburn

Coronavirus restrictions on mixing between different households in Burnley and Hyndburn will be lifted from next Wednesday in line with the rest of England.

Elsewhere in Lancashire, residents in Preston and parts of Pendle will still be banned from visiting others in their homes or gardens.

Officials in the county revealed the latest weekly guidance ahead of an expected official announcement on Friday from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Lancashire’s director of public health Dr Sakthi Karunanithi said: “People living in Burnley and Hyndburn will be pleased that Government has lifted the additional restrictions in their areas, but this should not lead to complacency.

“In both Burnley and Hyndburn infection rates are significantly above the national average with an increasing rate in Hyndburn.”

People living in specific wards in Pendle and in the northern part of Blackburn with Darwen – where infection rates are the highest in the country – will still not be able to socialise with anyone outside their household and should only use public transport if essential.

Gary Hall, deputy chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum which is leading the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said: “If we continue on this path I am hopeful that all parts of Lancashire will have the remaining restrictions lifted soon, but this depends on people following the rules wherever they live in the county.”

Meanwhile, Trafford in Greater Manchester is set to join Hyndburn and Burnley in falling in line with the majority of England – despite the local council’s recommendation to Government that restrictions should stay following advice from its own director of public health.

Councillor Andrew Western, Labour leader of Trafford Council, said: “It is apparent that for all of their claims of working in collaboration with local authorities, the Government has decided to overrule the council and lift restrictions in Trafford.

“This action by Government makes a mockery of the claims of locally-led decision-making and once again shows that local government is being ignored in spite of being on the front line of this crisis.”

Council leaders in Oldham, Manchester, Rochdale, Bury, Tameside and Salford also told Health Secretary Matt Hancock that a ban on mixing between different households should remain.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Political leaders in Stockport and Bolton, together with Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees local authorities in West Yorkshire, appealed for those restrictions to go.

Last week, Mr Hancock announced a more targeted approach to Covid-19 restrictions in which the views of MPs would also be sought to gain “the maximum possible local consensus”.

He added this would allow local councils to focus resources on the wards which need more targeted intervention in order to drive infection rates down.

However the Labour local council leaders in West Yorkshire criticised that approach as “confusing” and said the intervention of Tory backbench MPs “undermines council leadership”.