Published October 16, 2020 at 14:39

Today (16.10.20) the Government announced its intention to place Rossendale into tier 3 of the recently introduced Covid 19 restrictions. We have seen the number of positive Covid cases increase significantly since the end of August. The council has been working hard with other Lancashire councils to seek assurance that any additional restrictions placed on Rossendale are likely to have a positive effect in bringing cases down.

It is with a heavy heart that we see all of Lancashire placed into tier 3. For a number of days the Government has been expressing to us its clear intention to introduce this higher level of restrictions locally. We have negotiated hard to get the best deal possible in light of the Government’s intentions.

Over the last few days the council has been negotiating with Government arrangements which will provide a £30m package of support to vulnerable individuals and businesses. Alyson Barnes, Leader of the Council expressed her views on this challenging situation – ‘I have been negotiating with Government along the other Lancashire leaders to try and secure the best deal in these trying circumstances. The Government expressed its clear intention to introduce these stricter measures and we have been seeking assurance that specific businesses will be protected and those that have to close will receive funding from Government’.

The new restrictions will see bars and pubs close on Saturday 17 October. Other businesses are also affected. This includes; bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops, car boot sales, soft play areas adult gaming centres (amusement arcades), licenced clubs e.g. working men’s clubs and similar social clubs. These will be closed for 28 days, effective from Monday 19 October, as part of the tier restrictions. These restrictions apply to the whole of Lancashire and will be reviewed in four weeks.

The negotiated deal with Government has meant that a wide range of small businesses including hairdressers and beauticians will not be affected. Similarly, leisure centres and gyms will remain open.

The council awaits details of the financial support available to businesses and wider support to vulnerable individuals. We will move quickly to support local communities as we have since the Spring once we are clear what funding the Government is providing.

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