The Government has confirmed that almost every part of Lancashire is being placed under fresh local lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Department for Health made the announcement at midday today (September 18), in which it confirmed restrictions over the entire boroughs of Preston, Lancaster, Wyre, Fylde, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, and Rossendale.
Blackpool is not included in today's huge shake up despite sources saying earlier saying part of the town may be subject to fresh measures.
Restrictions will forbid residents from socialising with members of other households outside of their support bubbles in all settings. This includes homes and private gardens, public parks, pubs, restaurants and beer gardens.
Hospitality for food and drink will also be restricted to table service only.
The measures echo those reported by LancsLive on Thursday evening.
On Thursday, a government source said the measures were going to be "less severe than Bolton", with no plans at that stage for a 10pm curfews for bars, pubs, and restaurants.
But this plan has been ditched, with curfews coming in to effect the county from 10pm to 5pm.
This will be impact leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas.
A public transport warning has also been issued, 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 is also told to avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
All restrictions will be enforced from Tuesday, September 22.
Individuals who are shielding in parts of North East Blackburn, where there are eight wards are under local restrictions, will no longer need to from 5 October.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton. Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them.
“I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission.
“I urge local people to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember ‘hands, face, space’. By sticking to these steps, we will get through this together.”
The move comes after days of conversations between the Lancashire Resilience Forum - the county's Covid response team - as well as councils, and MPs, debating the best way to approach the growing number of virus cases in the county.
One source told LancsLive on Friday morning that these measures had been "planned for a couple of days" ahead of central government approval.
There has been disagreement over the approach taken, with some public officials in Lancashire resisting stricter measures.
Neil Shaw, Chief Executive at Rossendale Borough Council, took to social media on Thursday saying "no leader in Rossendale has called for the introduction of tighter restrictions".
"The Govt may impose these at some point but we are making the case why they shouldn't," he added.