Update on COVID restrictions for Lancashire

The guidance for the restrictions in the North West of England have been updated to reflect the changes being introduced from tomorrow. 

Here are the key points:

From 22 September and for all areas affected (which includes Blackburn with Darwen):

1. Hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. Hospitality venues include:

  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • pubs
  • social clubs
  • casinos

2. The following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day (please see below an exemption for food and drink deliveries):

  • the hospitality businesses and venues listed above
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls

3. Businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:

  • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
  • by telephone, including orders by text message
  • by post

4. You must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble

The police are able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.  People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
  • £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200

5. If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance.

6. You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than 6. This can be in any public place – indoors or outdoors – but not in a private outdoor space like a garden or inside a private home.  These activities either need to be organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity, and/or involve someone who has received an official licence to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance.

7. Organised dance and exercise classes can take place in groups of more than 6, where a risk assessment has been carried out, but you should limit your social interaction with other participants. The relevant indoor sport facilities guidance or outdoor guidance must be followed for these activities. Organised sport and physical activity events are allowed provided they follow guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England.

8. The government advise that you should not attend amateur or professional sporting events as a spectator in the areas affected. If you do attend, you must remain socially distanced and groups of no more than 6.

9. You may attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).  If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.

10. Shielding – If you live in one of the affected wards (Audley & Queen’s Park, Bastwell & Daisyfield, Billinge & Beardwood, Blackburn Central, Little Harwood & Whitebirk, Roe Lee, Shear Brow & Corporation Park, Wensley Fold) in Blackburn with Darwen and you are clinically extremely vulnerable, then you should continue to shield until 5 October.

11. People living inside and outside of the affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces should implement COVID-19 secure guidance.

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