THE Government has recommended that large swathes of the North be placed into tier 3 lockdown – with Lancashire and Greater Manchester the first places to be moved up a bracket.

The news was broken last night after the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre met in the late afternoon to discuss further lockdown restrictions, focusing on covid-19 hotspots such Lancashire, Greater Manchester, parts of the North East and Yorkshire.

Expectations are now that the majority of Lancashire’s pubs, bars, casinos and gyms will be forced to close over the coming days with a ban on household mixing to be enforced.


The strict lockdown was introduced in the Liverpool City Region yesterday after an official Government announcement on Monday. The region is so far the only place in England under the tightest restrictions.

This morning Greater Manchester’s MPs are to meet with the Government to discuss the lockdown, with Mayor Andy Burnham openly objecting to the county’s inclusion into the third tier.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is then expected to make announcement to the commons as 11.30.

However health bosses in Lancashire were very much of the opposite opinion to Mr Burnham, last night questioning if even tier three would be enough to keep a cap on the county’s growing rates of infection.

Up until now talks between government officials and local political leaders have centred round how much of the county should be moved into tier three and the provisions of a support package for businesses and workers affected.

Prof Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s public health director, said: “We believe that most of Lancashire will need to move to level three as soon as possible, but that these measures are unlikely to result in a sharp downward trajectory in four weeks’ time and that further measures will be needed.”

Dr Karunanithi, his counterpart at Lancashire County Council, said: “I share Dominic’s concerns that even tier three may not be enough.

"I think it is inevitable we will be moved into tier three. The infection rates in Burnley are very high.

"It is a question of whether we reach an agreement or the Health Secretary Matt Hancock does it unilaterally.

"We are to get a strong package of support for businesses and individuals affected as it will harm them. I just hope people follow the guidelines so we do not need extra measures."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Decisions are made in close consultation with local leaders and public health experts, informed by the latest evidence from the JBC, NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and the chief medical officer.

“We discuss measures with local directors of public health and local authorities, constantly review the evidence and will take swift action where necessary."

Lancashire County Council leader Cllr Geoff Driver and his Blackburn with Darwen counterpart Cllr Mohammed Khan have both told the Local Demcracy Service they believe it is 'inevitable' at least the east of the county will be transferred from tier two to tier three.