Earlier today Voice Britannia reported on the most recent (independent) regional R-number estimates – which showed that the North-West’s COVID-19 R had reached 1.0 (or higher). In response to this worrying development, Health Minister Matt Hancock has announced a “Pausing of lockdown easements in Blackburn with Darwen and Luton”.
Matt Hancock said : “The latest data shows the incidence of COVID-19 in these areas is higher than in other areas of the country, and we have today agreed to support both local authorities to pause the further easement of lockdown measures in these areas. This means indoor gyms, swimming pools and other sport and exercise facilities will not reopen in Luton or Blackburn with Darwen on 25 July.
“I appreciate this will be disappointing for many people and some businesses in the area but we are in complete agreement with local leaders that the priority must be to protect local residents by stopping the spread of this virus.
“I have every faith in the local leaders’ ability to help their areas return to normal as soon as possible”
The government statement says that local authorities in these areas have agreed that due to the increased rates of infection that ‘further measures are required’ to slow down the rates of infection. These areas have been categorised as ‘area of intervention’ which means they should see an increased amount of national support, and more testing and tracing in the affected localities.
From Saturday 25th July regulations will be signed by the Health Secretary, closing all gyms, pools, and other sport and exercise facilities until further notice. The changes apply to ALL businesses in the Blackburn with Darwen and Luton.
Government state: “The government will keep these regulations under review and will make changes as necessary.”