LANCASHIRE leaders have been in discussions today about putting the county, or areas of the county, into the third tier of the new lockdown system.

The new three-tier strategy of local lockdown measures for England was announced by Boris Johnson yesterday in efforts to curb rising Covid-19 rates.

The Prime Minister told the Commons on Monday that this will “simplify and standardise” local lockdown rules.

The new system will see different areas of England split up into medium, high and very high alert levels.

Currently, Lancashire is in the second tier of lockdown which is 'high' banning household mixing indoors, however support bubbles will still be permitted.

The rule of six will now apply outdoors, which leaders in the county were advising against in the previous local lockdowns.

With discussions today for the county to move into the higher tier, what could a tier three lockdown mean for Lancashire?

Social mixing will be banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars will be told to close unless they can operate as a restaurant.

Local leaders will help to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos, in very high alert level areas.

People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.

In areas where premises could only remain open as restaurants, officials said the expectation was that drinks could only be served with a substantial meal - purchasing a drink with a bag of crisps would not suffice in these measures.

The proposed legislation uses the term “table meal”, saying alcohol can only be sold as part of one which “might be expected to be served as the main midday or main evening meal”.

According to government officials, schools and universities will remain open in all levels of lockdown tiers.

MPs will debate and vote on the measures today in preparation for the new tiered system will come into effect on Wednesday.

The introduction of the measures will also see the revocation of previous local lockdown measures which were introduced in the West Midlands and north of England.

Measures are to be kept under review, and the secretary of state will review tier two areas at least once a fortnight, and restrictions under tier two once every 28 days.

There will be a four-week sunset clause for areas facing the toughest restrictions.