Central government is set to imposed fresh local lockdown restrictions on Blackpool after the seaside resort's infection rate has spiralled into 'red alert' status.

The announcement for Blackpool was informally made during this afternoon's Lancashire Resilience Forum press conference.

There has yet to be an official announcement by central government, but LRF chair Angie Ridgwell said the measures could come into effect today.

It comes after the town was the only place in all of Lancashire to not have local measures put in place this Tuesday (September 22) following last Friday's announcement restricting various activities in the county.

People in Blackpool are now set to be subjected to the same rules across the rest of Lancashire, forbidding visits to residents' homes and private gardens.

There will be a public transport warning, with advice to only use buses and trains for essential trips. These include going to school or university, work, and attending health appointments.

The public will be told to avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Table service only for the hospitality sector as already introduced as of Thursday this week through national restrictions, with a 10pm to 5am curfew also in place across pubs, bars, and restaurants.

In the seven days to Monday (September 21), Blackpool's Covid rate of infection stood at 70.3 new cases per 100,000 people.

This was up from 39.4 over the previous seven days after 98 further residents tested positive for the virus.

Earlier this week Dr Jim Gardner, medical director of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said they expect to see a 'progressive increase' in the number of patients coming into hospital and for treatment in the intensive care unit due to the rise in the infection rate.

Restrictions are now in place over all of Lancashire - which is made up of the 14 boroughs of Preston, Lancaster, Wyre, Fylde, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, Rossendale, and Blackpool.

It comes as infection rates in Lancashire have hit a grim milestone, with Burnley's now above 200 new cases per 100,000 people; the first borough in the county to reach the grim landmark.

Ten of Lancashire's 14 boroughs are now in the government's 'red alert' category with infection rates above 50 new cases per 100,000 people. This includes Blackpool.

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