Blackpool, Wigan and Stockport to face local lockdown measures

25 September 2020, 17:05 | Updated: 25 September 2020, 17:07

Blackpool is set to face tougher lockdown restrictions
Blackpool is set to face tougher lockdown restrictions. Picture: PA

Blackpool will have extra Covid-19 restrictions imposed for the first time from Saturday, with Wigan and Stockport also facing further clampdowns.

Both north west towns, which had been exempt from wider restrictions imposed on Greater Manchester, will now face the same restrictions as the rest of the region.

Blackpool, which had been exempt from restrictions in the rest of Lancashire, will join the rest of the county in having to follow the same rules.

The resort was controversially left out of Lancashire restrictions imposed recently but then saw a huge surge in visitors during the sunny weather last weekend.

More than 17.5 million people will now be living under extra coronavirus restrictions, as new measures also set to be announced for Leeds and parts of Wales.

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Covid-19 cases have been rising in the north west
Covid-19 cases have been rising in the north west. Picture: PA

Scott Benton, Conservative MP for Blackpool South writing on his Facebook page, said the town's council and the Government had now decided to impose additional restrictions on the resort, which will bring it into line with the rest of Lancashire which had extra restrictions imposed last week.

Mr Benton said when the decision was made to impose additional restrictions on the rest of Lancashire at the beginning of last week, the Blackpool infection rate was 23 cases per 100,000 people at that time and significantly below the average for the rest of Lancashire.

But by Wednesday the town's infection rate had increased to 63 cases per 100,000, still below the average for the whole of Lancashire but a significant rise in cases over the last week.

Mr Benton's post on Facebook said: "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 comparison to other areas in the North West despite visitors coming here all summer).

"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."

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Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, said that additional restrictions on mixing between households are to be reimposed on the borough in line with most of Greater Manchester.

She tweeted: "The Health Minister confirmed in a call this morning that a rise in infections in Wigan means we're subject to wider Greater Manchester restrictions again."

Restrictions were previously eased in Wigan on August 26 as infection rates were low but latest seven-day rolling figures show 106.2 positive cases per 100,000 population.

Stockport is facing the same additional restrictions being re-imposed in Wigan which bans mixing between households which had been allowed since September 2.

The restrictions are expected to come in from midnight.

An official announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care is expected to be made later on Friday.