In conjunction with Blackpool Council, the Government have decided to impose additional restrictions on Blackpool which will be effective from Saturday. These restrictions will bring us into line with the rest of Lancashire who had extra restrictions imposed last week.
When the decision was made to impose additional restrictions on the rest of Lancashire at the beginning of last week, our local infection rate on the 15th September was 23 cases per 100,000 people.
This figure was significantly below the average for the rest of Lancashire which is why Blackpool was not included in those restrictions. However, on the 23rd September our infection rate had increased to 63 cases per 100,000.
Although this figure is still below the average for the whole of Lancashire (and below many areas across the north of England), the significant rise in cases over the last week means we are now above the threshold for imposing restrictions.
This is why this decision has now been taken now.
The rise in cases is particularly high in areas of north Blackpool and the evidence is that this is due to transmission within the community rather than as a result of tourism (this explains why our local infection rate has remained low in compassion to other areas in the North West despite visitors coming here all summer).
The new restrictions will mean that some rules here will be slightly different to those elsewhere in England (but the same as those across Lancashire). However, because of the extra restrictions which the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday for the whole country, many of the new rules for Blackpool (such as pubs closing at 10pm and guidance to work from home) will still be the same as those across England.
It is vital that we take sensible steps now to reduce the rate of transmission which is why these new restrictions are being applied. Nobody wants a second full lockdown and that idea behind these new rules is to slow the spread of Covid-19 so that we do not end up in a position where a full lockdown has to be considered.
Everybody will have an opinion on these restrictions. Some will think they do not go far enough, whilst others will think they go too far. Balancing protecting people’s health, with keeping the economy going so that we can keep people’s jobs and businesses (and pay for public services), is an extremely difficult thing to do.
But this is the huge challenge that the government is facing. Sadly, there are no quick fixes or easy answers. We all have to work together by adhering to the new restrictions so that we keep our family and neighbours safe and avoid the nightmare of a second lockdown. Blackpool Council are making additional resources available to enforce these restrictions along the Prom, at tourist attractions and other businesses.
A full list of the new restrictions is below. Many of you will have questions: if you email me on email@example.com or phone 01253 361350 I will try to answer these as quickly as possible.
Due to the number of Facebook comments I get I cannot answer your enquiries on social media so please do not ask questions on here if you are expecting a reply.
The new restrictions in Blackpool are:
You must not socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in private homes or gardens.
Hospitality venues for food and drink must operate table service only.
Leisure and entertainment venues, including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, must close between 10pm and 5am.
Only use public transport for essential journeys – such as travelling to school or work, or medical appointments.
A face covering must be worn on public transport unless you are exempt.
Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
Residents are urged to only visit indoor locations such as restaurants and pubs with other members of their household or support bubble.
People should work from home where possible.
A maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports.
Large sports events and conferences planned from 1 October will not now take place.
From Monday 28 September, only 15 people can attend a wedding service and reception - 30 people can still attend a funeral.