Category Archives: Covid

Covid near me: How Preston, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster and the rest of Lancashire’s coronavirus case rates compare t the rest of the UK

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Here is the latest update of Covid-19 case rates in Preston, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster and every local authority in the rest of Lancashire and across the UK.

The figures, for the seven days to January 10, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in a lab-reported test, plus:

– in England, positive rapid lateral flow tests that do not have a negative confirmatory lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours.

How Covid rates in each area of Lancashire compare to the rest of the UK

How Covid rates in each area of Lancashire compare to the rest of the UK

Data for the most recent four days (January 11-14) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 377 local areas in the UK, 11 (3%) have seen a week-on-week rise in rates and 366 (97%) have seen a fall.

Burnley has the highest rate in Lancashire, with 2019 new cases in the seven days to January 10, the equivalent of 2259.8 per 100,000 people.

This is up from a rate of 2529.5 for the seven days to January 3.

Blackpool has the second highest rate in the county, at 2209.1, with 3057 new cases.

Here is the list in full:

It reads, from left to right: name of local authority; nation or region of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 10; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 10; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 3; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 3.

Middlesbrough, North-east England, 2834.7, (4005), 2731.4, (3859)

Hartlepool, North-east England, 2718.6, (2551), 2313.6, (2171)

Stockton-on-Tees, North-east England, 2542.3, (5019), 2803.7, (5535)

South Tyneside, North-east England, 2534.2, (3830), 2164.3, (3271)

Sunderland, North-east England, 2519.0, (6999), 2163.1, (6010)

Redcar and Cleveland, North-east England, 2425.2, (3328), 2613.9, (3587)

North Tyneside, North-east England, 2378.0, (4967), 2518.8, (5261)

Derry City and Strabane, Northern Ireland, 2351.9, (3554), 4847.5, (7325)

Burnley, North-west England, 2259.8, (2019), 2529.5, (2260)

Northumberland, North-east England, 2259.6, (7317), 2131.4, (6902)

Darlington, North-east England, 2256.9, (2424), 1758.8, (1889)

Blackpool, North-west England, 2209.1, (3057), 2470.0, (3418)

Hyndburn, North-west England, 2202.6, (1787), 2562.5, (2079)

Gateshead, North-east England, 2174.8, (4392), 2201.5, (4446)

Blackburn with Darwen, North-west England, 2149.6, (3225), 2250.2, (3376)

Barnsley, Yorkshire & the Humber, 2113.5, (5243), 2583.1, (6408)

Barrow-in-Furness, North-west England, 2107.1, (1406), 3451.4, (2303)

County Durham, North-east England, 2106.4, (11230), 1942.4, (10356)

Nuneaton and Bedworth, West Midlands, 2106.3, (2746), 2466.8, (3216)

Mid Ulster, Northern Ireland, 2085.9, (3107), 3023.8, (4504)

Allerdale, North-west England, 2009.6, (1966), 2814.0, (2753)

Wakefield, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1985.0, (6979), 2423.3, (8520)

Copeland, North-west England, 1984.1, (1350), 3536.1, (2406)

Newry Mourne and Down, Northern Ireland, 1962.4, (3565), 3123.8, (5675)

Newcastle upon Tyne, North-east England, 1956.8, (6004), 1934.0, (5934)

Pendle, North-west England, 1954.5, (1801), 2069.6, (1907)

Halton, North-west England, 1935.9, (2512), 2762.8, (3585)

Knowsley, North-west England, 1935.0, (2950), 2926.8, (4462)

Preston, North-west England, 1933.4, (2787), 2076.4, (2993)

Rotherham, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1926.2, (5104), 2498.3, (6620)

Doncaster, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1903.5, (5954), 2346.7, (7340)

Rochdale, North-west England, 1900.2, (4250), 2303.5, (5152)

Salford, North-west England, 1887.7, (4959), 2608.3, (6852)

Walsall, West Midlands, 1886.9, (5410), 2018.4, (5787)

St. Helens, North-west England, 1881.9, (3408), 2897.9, (5248)

Wolverhampton, West Midlands, 1872.5, (4951), 2234.8, (5909)

Wigan, North-west England, 1863.6, (6163), 2770.7, (9163)

Fermanagh and Omagh, Northern Ireland, 1863.0, (2186), 3877.7, (4550)

Tameside, North-west England, 1859.0, (4222), 2463.9, (5596)

Wyre, North-west England, 1855.5, (2098), 2197.8, (2485)

Bolton, North-west England, 1849.1, (5330), 2261.2, (6518)

Wirral, North-west England, 1845.9, (5987), 2845.5, (9229)

Cannock Chase, West Midlands, 1845.6, (1873), 2507.8, (2545)

Rugby, West Midlands, 1842.7, (2039), 2027.1, (2243)

Corby, East Midlands, 1838.4, (1343), 1889.0, (1380)

South Ribble, North-west England, 1834.6, (2038), 2665.5, (2961)

Sandwell, West Midlands, 1823.5, (6000), 1949.0, (6413)

Chorley, North-west England, 1807.0, (2148), 2586.0, (3074)

Sefton, North-west England, 1801.7, (4971), 2643.4, (7293)

Hull, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1800.7, (4666), 2064.6, (5350)

Dudley, West Midlands, 1788.4, (5765), 2231.3, (7193)

Leicester, East Midlands, 1756.0, (6217), 1905.7, (6747)

Calderdale, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1753.2, (3707), 2095.2, (4430)

Kirklees, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1752.6, (7734), 1998.2, (8818)

Warrington, North-west England, 1748.8, (3662), 2445.1, (5120)

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1748.6, (5990), 2654.1, (9092)

West Lancashire, North-west England, 1748.5, (2002), 2555.5, (2926)

Bradford, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1745.3, (9462), 1591.5, (8628)

Carlisle, North-west England, 1745.2, (1894), 2293.5, (2489)

Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon, Northern Ireland, 1745.1, (3791), 2498.7, (5428)

Fylde, North-west England, 1743.6, (1416), 2264.5, (1839)

Hounslow, London, 1724.6, (4687), 1968.2, (5349)

Leeds, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1722.9, (13762), 2004.3, (16010)

Ribble Valley, North-west England, 1721.9, (1068), 2421.6, (1502)

Liverpool, North-west England, 1718.2, (8599), 2470.5, (12364)

Ealing, London, 1718.0, (5847), 1909.3, (6498)

East Staffordshire, West Midlands, 1715.1, (2074), 1549.7, (1874)

North East Lincolnshire, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1712.4, (2729), 2071.4, (3301)

Rossendale, North-west England, 1703.7, (1217), 2055.1, (1468)

Wyre Forest, West Midlands, 1700.6, (1720), 1771.8, (1792)

Coventry, West Midlands, 1686.7, (6399), 1695.4, (6432)

Bolsover, East Midlands, 1682.6, (1368), 2055.2, (1671)

Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands, 1669.0, (4283), 1761.7, (4521)

Derby, East Midlands, 1666.2, (4279), 2118.7, (5441)

Milton Keynes, South-east England, 1663.6, (4495), 1975.9, (5339)

Oldham, North-west England, 1654.3, (3931), 2327.2, (5530)

Mansfield, East Midlands, 1647.9, (1802), 1909.4, (2088)

Peterborough, Eastern England, 1646.4, (3336), 1690.3, (3425)

North Warwickshire, West Midlands, 1644.0, (1076), 2080.9, (1362)

Manchester, North-west England, 1643.6, (9134), 2023.2, (11244)

Trafford, North-west England, 1643.2, (3904), 2222.0, (5279)

South Staffordshire, West Midlands, 1637.5, (1840), 2270.2, (2551)

East Riding of Yorkshire, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1636.4, (5616), 1920.2, (6590)

Harlow, Eastern England, 1626.9, (1420), 2502.3, (2184)

Telford and Wrekin, West Midlands, 1622.0, (2941), 1829.9, (3318)

Cheshire East, North-west England, 1620.3, (6265), 2074.1, (8020)

North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1616.8, (2793), 1934.0, (3341)

Sheffield, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1616.7, (9526), 2040.9, (12025)

Watford, Eastern England, 1616.6, (1562), 2028.5, (1960)

Tamworth, West Midlands, 1614.5, (1241), 1899.5, (1460)

Blaby, East Midlands, 1613.5, (1645), 2471.8, (2520)

Bury, North-west England, 1610.3, (3071), 2270.0, (4329)

Chesterfield, East Midlands, 1603.0, (1682), 2830.5, (2970)

Cheshire West and Chester, North-west England, 1600.2, (5502), 2296.5, (7896)

Selby, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1597.7, (1465), 2087.3, (1914)

Hinckley and Bosworth, East Midlands, 1595.0, (1813), 2051.6, (2332)

Richmondshire, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1593.1, (856), 1647.1, (885)

Stockport, North-west England, 1591.8, (4683), 2487.8, (7319)

Antrim and Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, 1586.0, (2280), 2438.9, (3506)

South Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1584.7, (5084), 2736.7, (8780)

West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, 1576.9, (1393), 2413.4, (2132)

Brent, London, 1574.1, (5159), 1913.9, (6273)

Luton, Eastern England, 1571.2, (3355), 1789.0, (3820)

Oadby and Wigston, East Midlands, 1568.6, (899), 2102.5, (1205)

Bassetlaw, East Midlands, 1567.5, (1854), 2096.7, (2480)

Stafford, West Midlands, 1558.1, (2148), 1992.6, (2747)

Newcastle-under-Lyme, West Midlands, 1557.8, (2019), 1649.6, (2138)

North West Leicestershire, East Midlands, 1551.4, (1626), 1988.4, (2084)

Slough, South-east England, 1545.0, (2311), 1589.8, (2378)

Hillingdon, London, 1544.9, (4774), 1882.1, (5816)

Birmingham, West Midlands, 1544.9, (17620), 1608.6, (18346)

Bracknell Forest, South-east England, 1544.7, (1918), 1959.5, (2433)

South Lakeland, North-west England, 1544.3, (1620), 1933.2, (2028)

Lichfield, West Midlands, 1542.1, (1629), 1915.0, (2023)

Harrow, London, 1537.2, (3879), 1816.6, (4584)

South Derbyshire, East Midlands, 1532.2, (1678), 1965.0, (2152)

Inverclyde, Scotland, 1528.7, (1178), 2777.1, (2140)

Northampton, East Midlands, 1519.9, (3409), 1624.7, (3644)

Staffordshire Moorlands, West Midlands, 1517.9, (1494), 1712.9, (1686)

Reading, South-east England, 1506.8, (2416), 1638.4, (2627)

Scarborough, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1502.7, (1634), 1511.0, (1643)

Bedford, Eastern England, 1499.3, (2619), 1837.6, (3210)

Ashfield, East Midlands, 1499.2, (1924), 2131.1, (2735)

Solihull, West Midlands, 1496.2, (3254), 1852.5, (4029)

Mid and East Antrim, Northern Ireland, 1482.3, (2067), 1951.3, (2721)

Crawley, South-east England, 1481.2, (1666), 1924.9, (2165)

Harrogate, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1480.1, (2391), 1580.4, (2553)

Craven, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1475.5, (846), 1806.8, (1036)

Rushmoor, South-east England, 1474.8, (1392), 1810.6, (1709)

Lancaster, North-west England, 1470.4, (2178), 1952.5, (2892)

Ipswich, Eastern England, 1466.4, (1994), 1609.1, (2188)

High Peak, East Midlands, 1457.4, (1350), 2224.9, (2061)

Swindon, South-west England, 1457.3, (3248), 2043.7, (4555)

Great Yarmouth, Eastern England, 1454.7, (1443), 1911.3, (1896)

Hertsmere, Eastern England, 1453.5, (1533), 1942.7, (2049)

North East Derbyshire, East Midlands, 1450.8, (1483), 2339.2, (2391)

Amber Valley, East Midlands, 1448.4, (1866), 1957.6, (2522)

Renfrewshire, Scotland, 1447.7, (2597), 2670.7, (4791)

Hammersmith and Fulham, London, 1437.8, (2639), 1698.8, (3118)

Charnwood, East Midlands, 1437.8, (2709), 1944.1, (3663)

Hambleton, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1434.8, (1319), 1549.0, (1424)

Harborough, East Midlands, 1434.0, (1370), 1927.0, (1841)

Erewash, East Midlands, 1433.3, (1653), 2199.7, (2537)

Lisburn and Castlereagh, Northern Ireland, 1428.5, (2092), 2197.3, (3218)

Newark and Sherwood, East Midlands, 1409.9, (1736), 1889.9, (2327)

Bromsgrove, West Midlands, 1408.0, (1416), 1792.8, (1803)

Thurrock, Eastern England, 1407.7, (2471), 2200.2, (3862)

Causeway Coast and Glens, Northern Ireland, 1407.4, (2040), 2563.8, (3716)

Surrey Heath, South-east England, 1404.6, (1253), 1799.2, (1605)

Redbridge, London, 1402.5, (4287), 1921.1, (5872)

Eastbourne, South-east England, 1402.4, (1449), 1454.6, (1503)

Redditch, West Midlands, 1401.2, (1199), 2021.8, (1730)

Barking and Dagenham, London, 1397.4, (2992), 2059.3, (4409)

Merton, London, 1396.4, (2883), 1905.0, (3933)

Kettering, East Midlands, 1393.2, (1424), 1941.1, (1984)

Cherwell, South-east England, 1392.2, (2114), 1826.2, (2773)

Worcester, West Midlands, 1389.3, (1393), 1572.8, (1577)

Daventry, East Midlands, 1388.1, (1207), 1728.6, (1503)

Portsmouth, South-east England, 1380.6, (2964), 1552.9, (3334)

Eden, North-west England, 1380.4, (742), 1691.0, (909)

Nottingham, East Midlands, 1379.4, (4650), 1720.3, (5799)

Wokingham, South-east England, 1379.2, (2399), 1486.1, (2585)

Oxford, South-east England, 1378.8, (2090), 1458.6, (2211)

Bristol, South-west England, 1377.9, (6419), 1716.2, (7995)

Glasgow City, Scotland, 1377.7, (8757), 2220.9, (14117)

North Ayrshire, Scotland, 1375.8, (1847), 2217.5, (2977)

Tower Hamlets, London, 1375.4, (4566), 1629.7, (5410)

North Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1374.5, (4689), 2708.0, (9238)

Spelthorne, South-east England, 1372.7, (1371), 2120.7, (2118)

Lincoln, East Midlands, 1368.3, (1369), 1770.1, (1771)

Woking, South-east England, 1367.9, (1368), 1718.9, (1719)

Three Rivers, Eastern England, 1362.2, (1280), 1675.1, (1574)

Newham, London, 1361.2, (4836), 1803.4, (6407)

Stevenage, Eastern England, 1352.9, (1192), 2051.0, (1807)

Gedling, East Midlands, 1351.5, (1598), 2177.8, (2575)

Wandsworth, London, 1351.4, (4456), 1659.2, (5471)

Wellingborough, East Midlands, 1349.9, (1081), 1630.8, (1306)

Falkirk, Scotland, 1349.7, (2167), 2091.4, (3358)

York, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1346.8, (2842), 1788.0, (3773)

East Renfrewshire, Scotland, 1340.8, (1288), 2451.6, (2355)

Torbay, South-west England, 1339.0, (1824), 1141.6, (1555)

Huntingdonshire, Eastern England, 1336.4, (2392), 1833.1, (3281)

Cambridge, Eastern England, 1335.3, (1670), 1341.7, (1678)

Thanet, South-east England, 1331.8, (1884), 1774.4, (2510)

Kensington and Chelsea, London, 1329.8, (2086), 1392.3, (2184)

Warwick, West Midlands, 1324.3, (1919), 1685.9, (2443)

Broxbourne, Eastern England, 1321.8, (1290), 2106.7, (2056)

Neath Port Talbot, Wales, 1320.8, (1907), 2635.3, (3805)

Dartford, South-east England, 1317.8, (1503), 2058.7, (2348)

Ards and North Down, Northern Ireland, 1317.4, (2135), 2000.5, (3242)

Broxtowe, East Midlands, 1316.4, (1509), 1878.3, (2153)

Barnet, London, 1314.5, (5245), 1689.9, (6743)

Central Bedfordshire, Eastern England, 1313.2, (3862), 1772.6, (5213)

East Ayrshire, Scotland, 1308.4, (1591), 2382.4, (2897)

Gloucester, South-west England, 1308.3, (1697), 1548.9, (2009)

South Kesteven, East Midlands, 1307.7, (1873), 1721.1, (2465)

Vale of White Horse, South-east England, 1304.5, (1799), 1564.8, (2158)

Croydon, London, 1303.0, (5063), 1986.6, (7719)

Lambeth, London, 1302.3, (4191), 1817.2, (5848)

Shropshire, West Midlands, 1300.8, (4233), 1777.7, (5785)

Brighton and Hove, South-east England, 1297.1, (3784), 1597.3, (4660)

Sutton, London, 1294.1, (2688), 2025.0, (4206)

Basildon, Eastern England, 1294.0, (2427), 2090.6, (3921)

Fife, Scotland, 1292.1, (4834), 1888.6, (7066)

Runnymede, South-east England, 1289.8, (1165), 1638.5, (1480)

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, 1286.7, (1908), 1937.4, (2873)

Havering, London, 1284.9, (3349), 2193.7, (5718)

Haringey, London, 1275.7, (3398), 1698.1, (4523)

Wrexham, Wales, 1274.5, (1734), 2072.7, (2820)

Norwich, Eastern England, 1273.8, (1811), 1718.3, (2443)

Gravesham, South-east England, 1272.3, (1360), 1829.0, (1955)

West Lindsey, East Midlands, 1267.3, (1219), 1688.4, (1624)

Southwark, London, 1265.6, (4050), 1793.3, (5739)

Angus, Scotland, 1263.2, (1463), 1755.3, (2033)

Windsor and Maidenhead, South-east England, 1262.6, (1910), 1628.2, (2463)

Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands, 1259.0, (1667), 1636.7, (2167)

Tonbridge and Malling, South-east England, 1258.2, (1668), 1678.3, (2225)

Enfield, London, 1257.5, (4195), 1748.3, (5832)

Basingstoke and Deane, South-east England, 1257.3, (2235), 1692.7, (3009)

Waltham Forest, London, 1257.3, (3482), 1878.4, (5202)

Dacorum, Eastern England, 1251.8, (1946), 1830.1, (2845)

Welwyn Hatfield, Eastern England, 1251.1, (1550), 1611.1, (1996)

Epsom and Ewell, South-east England, 1246.9, (1010), 1755.5, (1422)

Aberdeen City, Scotland, 1245.1, (2852), 1769.4, (4053)

Plymouth, South-west England, 1244.9, (3272), 1513.1, (3977)

South Oxfordshire, South-east England, 1244.2, (1789), 1521.7, (2188)

Perth and Kinross, Scotland, 1241.5, (1886), 1799.7, (2734)

East Suffolk, Eastern England, 1240.5, (3106), 1661.1, (4159)

North Kesteven, East Midlands, 1240.0, (1465), 1669.1, (1972)

West Suffolk, Eastern England, 1239.7, (2198), 1325.4, (2350)

Rushcliffe, East Midlands, 1239.5, (1505), 1837.5, (2231)

Bexley, London, 1238.3, (3087), 2009.2, (5009)

Moray, Scotland, 1238.1, (1185), 2520.1, (2412)

Mid Sussex, South-east England, 1237.0, (1882), 1666.2, (2535)

Southend-on-Sea, Eastern England, 1233.8, (2255), 1924.8, (3518)

Swale, South-east England, 1229.7, (1857), 1745.5, (2636)

East Hertfordshire, Eastern England, 1228.0, (1864), 1925.7, (2923)

Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands, 1227.5, (889), 1552.0, (1124)

Epping Forest, Eastern England, 1224.1, (1618), 1965.6, (2598)

Uttlesford, Eastern England, 1223.6, (1135), 1781.0, (1652)

North Devon, South-west England, 1222.4, (1200), 1271.3, (1248)

Hackney and City of London, London, 1221.7, (3566), 1534.2, (4478)

Buckinghamshire, South-east England, 1221.6, (6683), 1519.6, (8313)

Dundee City, Scotland, 1221.6, (1818), 1857.9, (2765)

Medway, South-east England, 1219.5, (3404), 1872.5, (5227)

Clackmannanshire, Scotland, 1218.6, (625), 2064.7, (1059)

Test Valley, South-east England, 1218.1, (1549), 1527.2, (1942)

Elmbridge, South-east England, 1217.8, (1671), 1739.6, (2387)

Greenwich, London, 1216.8, (3517), 1886.3, (5452)

Reigate and Banstead, South-east England, 1212.1, (1809), 1777.6, (2653)

Fenland, Eastern England, 1209.8, (1235), 1442.0, (1472)

South Ayrshire, Scotland, 1209.2, (1356), 2119.7, (2377)

Braintree, Eastern England, 1208.4, (1850), 1898.9, (2907)

Blaenau Gwent, Wales, 1202.5, (842), 3003.4, (2103)

Melton, East Midlands, 1202.5, (618), 1990.5, (1023)

Folkestone and Hythe, South-east England, 1198.4, (1358), 1460.5, (1655)

Chelmsford, Eastern England, 1198.0, (2151), 1912.6, (3434)

Gosport, South-east England, 1196.3, (1013), 1472.6, (1247)

Kingston upon Thames, London, 1196.3, (2143), 1641.2, (2940)

South Gloucestershire, South-west England, 1195.9, (3442), 1669.5, (4805)

Bromley, London, 1195.5, (3978), 1904.4, (6337)

Colchester, Eastern England, 1195.2, (2357), 1612.6, (3180)

Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, 1194.4, (2889), 2775.0, (6712)

Caerphilly, Wales, 1193.0, (2168), 2466.3, (4482)

South Northamptonshire, East Midlands, 1192.8, (1139), 1406.4, (1343)

Islington, London, 1189.4, (2951), 1453.8, (3607)

Swansea, Wales, 1187.9, (2929), 2414.8, (5954)

Stirling, Scotland, 1186.2, (1116), 1878.2, (1767)

South Holland, East Midlands, 1186.1, (1137), 1238.3, (1187)

East Northamptonshire, East Midlands, 1186.1, (1128), 1704.5, (1621)

North Somerset, South-west England, 1184.7, (2554), 1413.9, (3048)

Hart, South-east England, 1182.3, (1154), 1472.2, (1437)

Southampton, South-east England, 1181.2, (2987), 1407.4, (3559)

Lewisham, London, 1180.4, (3604), 1786.4, (5454)

Conwy, Wales, 1179.5, (1394), 2356.5, (2785)

East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, 1178.9, (1282), 2282.3, (2482)

Hastings, South-east England, 1177.7, (1090), 1301.9, (1205)

City of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1177.6, (6213), 1866.5, (9848)

Bridgend, Wales, 1176.6, (1736), 2484.1, (3665)

Carmarthenshire, Wales, 1176.4, (2236), 1989.2, (3781)

Ashford, South-east England, 1175.4, (1540), 1518.9, (1990)

Brentwood, Eastern England, 1170.3, (904), 1825.4, (1410)

Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, South-west England, 1167.8, (4636), 1498.5, (5949)

Newport, Wales, 1165.9, (1824), 2255.7, (3529)

Richmond upon Thames, London, 1165.3, (2309), 1515.1, (3002)

Havant, South-east England, 1158.8, (1464), 1439.8, (1819)

Worthing, South-east England, 1158.7, (1283), 1361.0, (1507)

St Albans, Eastern England, 1155.3, (1725), 1608.0, (2401)

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Eastern England, 1154.4, (1746), 1480.4, (2239)

Fareham, South-east England, 1153.5, (1342), 1499.1, (1744)

Maidstone, South-east England, 1153.5, (1997), 1524.3, (2639)

Eastleigh, South-east England, 1148.9, (1557), 1587.2, (2151)

Dover, South-east England, 1148.4, (1361), 1421.8, (1685)

Cheltenham, South-west England, 1147.9, (1332), 1345.2, (1561)

West Berkshire, South-east England, 1146.0, (1816), 1524.0, (2415)

Rutland, East Midlands, 1143.9, (463), 1474.9, (597)

East Lothian, Scotland, 1143.7, (1234), 1776.6, (1917)

West Lothian, Scotland, 1143.0, (2101), 2134.7, (3924)

Wychavon, West Midlands, 1142.0, (1497), 1362.5, (1786)

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, 1141.9, (690), 2737.3, (1654)

Castle Point, Eastern England, 1138.9, (1031), 2082.3, (1885)

Adur, South-east England, 1138.9, (731), 1484.7, (953)

North Hertfordshire, Eastern England, 1138.1, (1519), 1566.7, (2091)

Westminster, London, 1136.9, (3068), 1300.0, (3508)

Ryedale, Yorkshire & the Humber, 1134.3, (631), 1677.2, (933)

South Cambridgeshire, Eastern England, 1133.0, (1823), 1427.6, (2297)

Herefordshire, West Midlands, 1131.1, (2190), 1409.5, (2729)

Boston, East Midlands, 1126.5, (798), 1157.6, (820)

Tandridge, South-east England, 1121.5, (993), 1749.5, (1549)

West Oxfordshire, South-east England, 1121.2, (1253), 1583.8, (1770)

Exeter, South-west England, 1116.0, (1488), 1210.5, (1614)

Flintshire, Wales, 1115.1, (1749), 2246.1, (3523)

Tunbridge Wells, South-east England, 1113.2, (1324), 1306.6, (1554)

Bath and North East Somerset, South-west England, 1107.2, (2174), 1492.2, (2930)

Isle of Anglesey, Wales, 1105.9, (779), 2054.2, (1447)

Babergh, Eastern England, 1095.6, (1016), 1607.8, (1491)

Rochford, Eastern England, 1093.3, (958), 2145.5, (1880)

Midlothian, Scotland, 1091.8, (1017), 1925.9, (1794)

Cardiff, Wales, 1076.9, (3976), 1985.1, (7329)

Breckland, Eastern England, 1076.1, (1520), 1306.1, (1845)

East Cambridgeshire, Eastern England, 1071.3, (966), 1344.1, (1212)

Wiltshire, South-west England, 1069.5, (5391), 1323.6, (6672)

South Somerset, South-west England, 1068.8, (1803), 1242.5, (2096)

East Lindsey, East Midlands, 1064.6, (1512), 1475.0, (2095)

Mendip, South-west England, 1062.9, (1236), 1254.6, (1459)

Sedgemoor, South-west England, 1061.2, (1310), 1273.4, (1572)

Forest of Dean, South-west England, 1058.5, (922), 1300.7, (1133)

Sevenoaks, South-east England, 1057.8, (1284), 1563.6, (1898)

Mole Valley, South-east England, 1056.6, (925), 1452.9, (1272)

East Hampshire, South-east England, 1055.4, (1307), 1302.5, (1613)

Lewes, South-east England, 1045.2, (1082), 1375.5, (1424)

Tendring, Eastern England, 1042.4, (1536), 1652.5, (2435)

Guildford, South-east England, 1040.2, (1564), 1334.9, (2007)

Horsham, South-east England, 1039.4, (1512), 1361.1, (1980)

South Norfolk, Eastern England, 1035.9, (1482), 1590.2, (2275)

Somerset West and Taunton, South-west England, 1034.6, (1608), 1241.1, (1929)

Camden, London, 1033.2, (2888), 1203.5, (3364)

Waverley, South-east England, 1029.6, (1303), 1285.6, (1627)

Torridge, South-west England, 1025.9, (705), 1095.8, (753)

Denbighshire, Wales, 1018.0, (984), 2011.1, (1944)

Dorset, South-west England, 1015.8, (3858), 1292.0, (4907)

Winchester, South-east England, 1014.9, (1278), 1342.9, (1691)

Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 1014.3, (2645), 1555.3, (4056)

Maldon, Eastern England, 1013.7, (663), 1752.3, (1146)

Broadland, Eastern England, 1013.4, (1337), 1788.8, (2360)

Malvern Hills, West Midlands, 1005.7, (799), 1086.3, (863)

Mid Suffolk, Eastern England, 1005.2, (1054), 1294.1, (1357)

Torfaen, Wales, 1004.9, (953), 2402.1, (2278)

Wealden, South-east England, 1000.4, (1628), 1292.9, (2104)

Highland, Scotland, 983.3, (2315), 1796.3, (4229)

Canterbury, South-east England, 976.8, (1629), 1364.2, (2275)

South Hams, South-west England, 976.7, (859), 1134.8, (998)

Powys, Wales, 972.0, (1293), 1777.0, (2364)

New Forest, South-east England, 971.9, (1746), 1326.5, (2383)

Tewkesbury, South-west England, 966.6, (934), 1210.9, (1170)

North Norfolk, Eastern England, 955.6, (1005), 1302.7, (1370)

Chichester, South-east England, 941.5, (1144), 1201.6, (1460)

Argyll and Bute, Scotland, 937.6, (801), 1388.3, (1186)

Arun, South-east England, 934.7, (1506), 1203.4, (1939)

Stroud, South-west England, 934.6, (1130), 1332.5, (1611)

Teignbridge, South-west England, 932.3, (1259), 1136.0, (1534)

Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, 929.8, (1258), 1996.4, (2701)

Mid Devon, South-west England, 924.5, (770), 1057.8, (881)

Cotswold, South-west England, 916.2, (827), 1161.0, (1048)

Gwynedd, Wales, 876.4, (1097), 1796.7, (2249)

West Devon, South-west England, 869.3, (488), 1031.4, (579)

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, South-west England, 868.6, (4999), 1120.5, (6449)

Rother, South-east England, 865.4, (837), 1000.9, (968)

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 857.6, (1087), 1630.0, (2066)

East Devon, South-west England, 846.2, (1253), 1110.2, (1644)

Scottish Borders, Scotland, 820.9, (946), 1754.6, (2022)

Isle of Wight, South-east England, 820.8, (1168), 908.0, (1292)

Monmouthshire, Wales, 742.9, (707), 1388.1, (1321)

Ceredigion, Wales, 681.8, (497), 1683.2, (1227)

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Scotland, 566.0, (150), 913.2, (242)

Orkney Islands, Scotland, 517.9, (116), 1089.3, (244)

Shetland Islands, Scotland, 450.4, (103), 739.0, (169)


“I can’t wear a mask but I’m not a dick”

Home | Blackpool Gazette

People with some health conditions are exempt from wearing face coverings, and language around mask-wearing is fuelling hostility to vulnerable groups


“Don’t be a Dick. Mask up. For goodness sake…it’s cheaper,” read the social media post, as part of the Lancashire County Council’s ‘Mask Up’ campaign.

It has sparked backlash online from people calling the poster ‘offensive’, and accusing the Council of being ‘divisive’, and likely to inflame those who are reluctant to wear face coverings.

As a person with a hidden illness, I can’t wear a mask. Early on in the pandemic, a kind lady in M&S spotted me struggling – she gave me a free sunflower lanyard and explained that their staff are trained to recognise the scheme and that anyone wearing them has a hidden disability and may need extra support.

A new poster campaign launched by Lancashire County Council has caused a stir after it told those refusing to mask up in shops, "Don't be a Dick".

A new poster campaign launched by Lancashire County Council has caused a stir after it told those refusing to mask up in shops, “Don’t be a Dick”.

The scheme is now widely recognised, and I’ve found that most shops are far more understanding of hidden disabilities and haven’t challenged me over my unmasked face.

Until last week.

I was asked to leave a shop for not wearing a mask. When I pointed out my sunflower lanyard, the owner kicked off.

“I don’t care. I care about my customers and you are putting them at risk.”

My partner challenged him, and pointed out that he was in breach of the Equality Act 2010 by discriminating against a person with a hidden disability. He explained the rules about face coverings allow for exemptions.

Face coverings can aggravate some health conditions, such as asthma (and in my case vocal cord dysfunction).

They are also unsuitable for people who rely on lip-reading, and young children.

But the owner was unsympathetic. “Anyone can buy a lanyard over the internet, I don’t care about your rights I care about my customers.”

I’m no Covid denier. I’m double jabbed, and never stopped with the 2m distance rule. I avoid crowded spaces, I use hand sanitizer. But I was treated like a criminal.

So I tire of the inflammatory posters and language directed at anyone without a face covering that implies we are all just irresponsible. The language is divisive and fuels hostility towards vulnerable people – one person wearing a sunflower lanyard reported being called a ‘murderer’ in Tesco Express in Lytham for not wearing a mask.

It’s unfortunate that some anti-mask groups have boasted at being able to get them online and pretend they are ‘exempt’. It does cause some shop owners to question whether a person is genuinely exempt.

White explained that he had received messages that people were being abused, verbally and physically because they weren’t wearing a face-covering, which is why we produced a face covering exemption card. He said that the card does rely on goodwill and understanding from the public.

“We do not ask for proof of a person’s disability because there are a number of people whose condition is yet to be diagnosed, or for whom a diagnosis isn’t available, such as with anxiety. Of course, that opens the scheme up for abuse. But the sunflower doesn’t offer anything apart from the ability to demonstrate that you have an invisible condition.”



Covid figures for 337 areas of Lancashire that show concerning signs amid Omicron surge

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Across the county, 59 areas have an infection rate of 2000 or higher


The current coronavirus hotspots in Lancashire
The current coronavirus hotspots in Lancashire

The most recent Covid-19 infection rates in Lancashire have been revealed.

According to the latest data, the majority of the county now has an infection rate of 1600 or over – the highest category available.

However, in fact, 59 areas have an infection rate of 2000 or higher.

The area with the highest rate across the county is Brunshaw and Brownside with 161 cases confirmed in the seven days up December 30.

As a result, its infection rate is 2,760.2.

Burscough, in West Lancashire, is the second highest with an infection rate of and 255 cases confirmed.

Every neighbourhood is split up using Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) data, breaking districts down into smaller areas, to give a picture of where cases are rising from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Each area has an average population of around 7,200 people to present an equal picture across every area in the country.

Seven days rolling Covid-19 infection rate up to December 30 – total cases and rate per 100,000 people

Brunshaw & Brownside – 161 cases – 2,760.2

Burscough – 255 cases – 2,752.9

Skelmersdale Ashurst – 160 cases – 2,680.1

Lostock Hall – 192 cases – 2,577.5

South Darwen & Whitehall – 215 cases – 2,553.4

Farington – 201 cases – 2,550.1

South Shore – 203 cases – 2,523.9

Brindle & Withnell – 151 cases – 2,495.5

Oswaldtwistle – 181 cases – 2,485.9

Lea & Marina – 164 cases – 2,472.9

Queenstown & Layton – 196 cases – 2,471.9

Leyland South East & Buckshaw Village – 183 cases – 2,430.0

Leyland South West – 153 cases – 2,417.1

Chorley North – 192 cases – 2,404.5

Meadowhead – 169 cases – 2,364.0

Habergham & Ightenhill – 159 cases – 2,362.2

Hapton & Lowerhouse – 139 cases – 2,361.9

Upholland – 177 cases – 2,352.2

Broughton & Wychnor – 184 cases – 2,323.8

Clayton-le-Woods – 218 cases – 2,307.4

Scale Hall & Torrisholme – 273 cases – 2,282.8

Wilpshire & Mellor – 196 cases – 2,277.7

Rose Hill & Burnley Wood – 229 cases – 2,273.4

Townsend Fold & Edenfield – 144 cases – 2,268.4

Skelmersdale Central – 198 cases – 2,264.7

Hesketh Bank & Tarleton – 197 cases – 2,264.6

Poulton South – 196 cases – 2,262.8

Walton-le-Dale – 163 cases – 2,255.7

Ormskirk North & West – 189 cases – 2,250.8

Chorley Town & South – 222 cases – 2,241.7

Tockholes, Edgworth & Hoddlesden – 135 cases – 2,216.7

Whittle-le-Woods & Anglezarke – 201 cases – 2,213.2

North Darwen – 147 cases – 2,208.5

Adlington & Rivington – 229 cases – 2,206.4

Ewood & Fernhurst – 168 cases – 2,197.2

Moss Side – 112 cases – 2,193.5

Chorley East – 160 cases – 2,182.2

Park Road – 164 cases – 2,178.5

Stanley Park & Great Marton – 166 cases – 2,167.4

Colne Waterside – 112 cases – 2,165.1

Coppull – 182 cases – 2,157.2

Hawes Side – 154 cases – 2,154.8

Darwen Town – 136 cases – 2,154.6

Clayton-le-Moors & Huncoat – 242 cases – 2,154.6

Chorley South West – 203 cases – 2,147.9

Whalley & Brockhall – 198 cases – 2,144.0

Chorley West – 239 cases – 2,135.3

Squires Gate – 166 cases – 2,135.0

Barrowford, Higham & Pendleside – 203 cases – 2,117.0

Bamber Bridge East – 147 cases – 2,115.1

Witton, Mill Hill & Hollin Bank – 220 cases – 2,105.1

New Longton & Hutton – 125 cases – 2,091.0

Cliviger, Worsthorne & Lane Bottom – 104 cases – 2,086.7

Helmshore – 127 cases – 2,081.6

Harle Syke & Lanehead – 181 cases – 2,063.1

Clitheroe South – 183 cases – 2,043.6

Beardwood, Pleasington & Livesey – 168 cases – 2,031.4

Skelmersdale West – 129 cases – 2,014.1

Penwortham North – 108 cases – 2,013.8

Ormskirk Town & East – 185 cases – 1,999.4

Longton & Walmer Bridge – 166 cases – 1,994.7

Clitheroe North – 162 cases – 1,991.2

Skelmersdale South East – 145 cases – 1,970.1

Heysham & Overton – 272 cases – 1,961.9

Hoohill – 118 cases – 1,960.5

Rishton – 126 cases – 1,960.2

Church (Blackburn) – 105 cases – 1,945.9

Ansdell & Fairhaven – 201 cases – 1,945.8

Grimsargh & Goosnargh – 126 cases – 1,945.6

Colne Vivary Bridge – 116 cases – 1,943.7

Warbreck & Bispham Road – 158 cases – 1,941.3

Bickerstaffe & Newburgh – 129 cases – 1,939.0

Bank Hall & Fulledge – 117 cases – 1,935.2

Halton and Caton – 112 cases – 1,930.7

Aughton – 154 cases – 1,927.7

Poulton North & Carleton East – 156 cases – 1,920.5

Skelmersdale East – 127 cases – 1,915.0

Norbreck & Bispham – 151 cases – 1,911.9

Morecambe West End – 112 cases – 1,897.7

Penwortham South – 113 cases – 1,888.5

Little Layton & Little Carleton – 115 cases – 1,883.7

Warton & Freckleton – 161 cases – 1,881.7

Colne Horsfield – 91 cases – 1,879.0

Cleveleys East – 144 cases – 1,865.5

Read, Sabden & Chatburn – 144 cases – 1,863.1

Hest Bank & Bolton-le-Sands – 133 cases – 1,861.4

Scarisbrick, Halsall & Haskayne – 136 cases – 1,851.1

Croston & Mawdesley – 147 cases – 1,850.9

Longsands – 121 cases – 1,846.2

Accrington South East – 156 cases – 1,842.7

Cadley & College – 144 cases – 1,841.0

Bamber Bridge West – 99 cases – 1,838.1

Fulwood – 163 cases – 1,824.7

Clayton Brook – 101 cases – 1,818.5

Lytham – 164 cases – 1.813.4

Ashton-on-Ribble & Larches – 192 cases – 1,810.3

Rufford & Banks – 138 cases – 1,797.3

Accrington North East – 223 cases – 1,795.9

Plungington & University – 228 cases – 1,795.0

St Annes Town – 182 cases – 1,787.1

Lower Penwortham South – 104 cases – 1,783.6

Common Edge – 143 cases – 1,770.7

Lancaster East – 136 cases – 1,770.1

Little Bispham & Anchorsholme – 135 cases – 1,769.6

Morecambe Town – 141 cases – 1,763.4

Bare – 93 cases – 1,762.0

Kirkham & Wesham – 215 cases – 1,755.8

Pilling, Great Eccleston & Inskip – 116 cases – 1,752.3

Euxton – 148 cases – 1,744.7

Padiham – 158 cases – 1,742.4

Thornton West – 166 cases – 1,738.6

Victoria – 137 cases – 1,737.9

South Promenade & Seasiders Way – 103 cases – 1,736.3

Thornton East & Carleton West – 156 cases – 1,717.5

Elswick, Singleton & Weeton – 137 cases – 1,707.8

Great Harwood – 188 cases – 1,704.0

Lower Penwortham North – 95 cases – 1,690.1

Crawshawbooth, Reedsholme & Water – 134 cases – 1,679.4

Haslam Park – 108 cases – 1,668.2

Scotforth East & Bowerham – 99 cases – 1,666.4

Longridge North, Ribchester & Chipping – 100 cases – 1,658.4

East Colne, Foulridge & Trawden – 112 cases – 1,655.3

St Annes North & Airport – 123 cases – 1,641.8

Marsh, Haverbreaks & Scotforth West – 178 cases – 1,632.3

Heyhouses & Park – 140 cases – 1,632.1

Bacup – 180 cases – 1,627.5

Broadfield & Knuzden – 99 cases – 1,627.5

Rawtenstall – 146 cases – 1,625.5

Roe Lee, Brownhill & Sunnybower – 169 cases – 1,614.4

Churchtown (Poulton-le-Fylde) – 127 cases – 1,601.5

Fleetwood Warren – 96 cases – 1,600.3

Fleetwood Town – 128 cases – 1,598.8

Bonds, Bilsborrow & Wyresdale – 111 cases – 1,580.5

Garstang & Catterall – 149 cases – 1,566.1

Waterfoot & Stacksteads – 195 cases – 1,550.4

Ingol – 91 cases – 1,544.2

Brookfield & Holme Slack – 158 cases – 1,534.3

Little Marton & Marton Moss Side – 104 cases – 1,526.9

Fleetwood South East – 115 cases – 1,526.0

Carnforth, Silverdale & Warton – 150 cases – 1,502.3

Preesall, Stalmine & Hambleton – 151 cases – 1,456.1

Central Blackpool – 102 cases – 1,454.4

Morecambe Westgate – 95 cases – 1,438.7

Clifton & Newton-with-Scales – 97 cases – 1,434.9

Cleveleys West – 121 cases – 1,417.2

Waddington, Gisburn & Slaidburn – 104 cases – 1,396.3

Kellet & Lune Valley – 86 cases – 1,391.1

North Shore (Blackpool) – 83 cases – 1,385.4

North East Centre (Blackpool) – 95 cases – 1,382.0

Moor Park – 95 cases – 1,336.1

University, Galgate & Dolphinholme – 168 cases – 1,322.8

Frenchwood & Fishwick – 122 cases – 1,315.5

Haslingden – 138 cases – 1,310.4

Shadsworth & Intack – 137 cases – 1,288.4

Fleetwood Rossall & Chatsworth – 80 cases – 1,264.6

Lancaster Central – 118 cases – 1,199.3

Preston Town Centre – 131 cases – 1,178.8

Moorlands & Greaves – 71 cases – 1,171.4

Central Blackburn – 101 cases – 1,120.1

Accrington West – 143 cases – 1,117.4

Marsden – 81 cases – 1,115.2

St Matthew’s (Preston) – 98 cases – 1,103.7

Little Harwood – 97 cases – 1,049.2

Lammack & Revidge – 89 cases – 993.2

Brierfield & Reedley – 93 cases – 982.2

Audley – 80 cases – 929.5

Bastwell – 70 cases – 923.6

Wensley Fold – 84 cases – 921.2

St George’s (Preston) – 49 cases – 665.5



Doctors welcome surge in north west residents coming forward for first Covid-19 jab

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The NHS in the North West has welcomed a significant increase in people coming forward for their first dose of the Covid vaccine – and urged others to book their jabs in the run up to the New Year.


More than 26,700 people attended first dose appointments in the seven days before Christmas Eve and more than 69,700 people across the region came forward in the first three weeks of December.

Numbers of people asking for first doses have increased since reports of the Omicron variant and the announcement of plans to accelerate Covid-19 booster jabs to protect as many people as possible by the end of the year.

NHS vaccine services have also seen an increase in people coming forward for second doses – more than 95,800 in the first three weeks of December.

The north west has seen a huge rise in the numbers of people coming forward to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination, as well as a rise in those seeking a booster jab

The north west has seen a huge rise in the numbers of people coming forward to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination, as well as a rise in those seeking a booster jab

The Covid-19 vaccination has been proven to protect against severe illness and hospitalisation. The majority of people that have been hospitalised with Covid-19 recently have been those who are unvaccinated.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning at NHS England and Improvement and Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in the North West, said: “Everyone aged 18 and over who has had a second vaccine more than 91 days ago should get their booster.

“The new Omicron variant is spreading extremely quickly and we are seeing more people in hospital with Covid-19 than we have for many weeks. There’s no room for complacency – we’re asking people to have their vaccines as soon as possible and not wait, whether it’s your first, second or booster.”

You can find your nearest walk in site at

There are more than 300 sites across the North West offering first, second and booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the national booking system (NBS) is open to all eligible adults to quickly and easily book an appointment online.

Young people aged 12-15 can now book both first and second doses on the NBS too.

Book online at or call 119.



Key points from Lancashire Covid press conference as Omicron spread revealed

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Things we learnt from Lancashire Covid press conference as Omicron spread revealed


People queue for the vaccine in Lancashire
People queue for the vaccine in Lancashire

Lancashire leaders have warned that the county is around ‘a week behind London’ as fears grow over Omicron spread.

The county’s health bosses, including Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, for Lancashire County Council, Professor Dominic Harrison for Blackburn with Darwen Council and Dr Arif Rajpura for Blackpool Council, have today addressed residents over rising cases.

In a press conference, which took place this morning (December 20), the health chiefs urged people to come forward for their first vaccinations, second vaccinations and booster jabs, to help slow the spread of the virus – which is now ripping through the county.


Here are the key points from the meeting which affect Lancashire directly.

The true number of Omicron cases in Lancashire

Dr Karunanithi has revealed that there are currently around 2,580 Omicron cases across the county.

This figure is for the Lancashire County Council authority alone and does not include Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool.

Prof Harrison said that around 50 per cent of the cases in Blackburn with Darwen are now Omicron – with this percentage expected to rise in the coming weeks. He said that the current rate for Blackburn with Darwen is at 417 cases per 100,000, which is below the national average of around 559.

No exact figure for Omicron cases in Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool has yet been shared.

We are a week behind London

According to the most recent data, provided to the directors of public health for Lancashire, Blackburn and Blackpool, the county is now around a week to 10 days behind the Covid rates being seen in London.

Darwen Town, which has recorded more than 1,000 Covid cases per 100,000 people, is – according to Prof Harrison – in a very similar situation to London already.

Over the weekend, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, declared a ‘major incident’ to help hard-hit hospitals in the capital which are seein rising patient numbers and increasing staff absences.

Staff sickness or isolation is now at a rate of ‘around 10 per cent’ in London, a figure public health directors in Lancashire do not want to see echoed in the county.

Hospitalisations are stable

For the time being, according to Dr Karunanithi, hospitals in Lancashire are not seeing a marked increase in Covid patients.

However, he said that it is ‘still too early’ to tell if the Omicron variant will have a significant impact on the number of patients attending hospital.

Dr Karunanithi said that a lot of cases from around December 12 onwards, will not been seen in hospitals for around another week and that we can ‘expect’ to see that impact just after Christmas.

Cases will top 8,000 a day

Dr Sakthi said that it is reasonable to believe that there will be 8,000 Omicron cases in Lancashire by Christmas Day.

He said that the current rate of Omicron cases is doubling every two to three days, and that it is expected that this will continue without any intervention.

“If we really want to be with our family, we must be taking the steps not to become a positive case,” he said.

He is urging people to take a test on Christmas Day or on any day of a planned gathering to help slow the spread of the disease.

Vaccination capacity has doubled

There is ‘double the capacity’ for vaccination in Lancashire now, according to Dr Karunanithi.

He said that NHS workers in the county have ramped up the capacity, but that they now need people to come forward to fill that capacity.

The Lancashire health chief revealed that hundreds of first doses are still being given and stressed that it is ‘not too late’ to get a first jab, second jab or a booster ahead of Christmas.

Dr Arif Rajpura, of Blackpool Council, echoed this message saying that there will be no one asking why someone has not been vaccinated yet.



These are this week’s cases and convictions from Blackpool Magistrates’ Court – Monday, December 13 to Friday, December 17, 2021

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Here is the latest round-up of cases from Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.


Blackpool man given curfew following assault

A Blackpool man was given a two-month curfew by the town’s magistrates.

Ben Ashman, 24, of St Chads Road, admitted an assault charge.

This is the latest round-up of who has been in Blackpool Magistrates' Court this week.

This is the latest round-up of who has been in Blackpool Magistrates’ Court this week.

The court was told Ashman put his ex-girlfriend in fear when he pushed his way into the flat she shares with her grandmother.

The incident was seen by a neighbour, who called the police.

Robert Castle, defending, said: “This happened some time ago when his life was plagued by drugs.

“Since then, he was run over by a car and almost lost a leg. He … is now drug free.”

Blackpool woman remanded

Blackpool woman Ashleigh Croasdale was remanded in custody pending a trial for robbery.

The 30-year-old, of Bloomfield Road, is accused of robbing an elderly man of a phone, wallet, and bank card.

She denied the offence at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

A trial will be held at Preston Crown Court, where Croasdale will appear on January 12.

Blackpool fan banned from all football grounds

A teenage Blackpool fan was banned from all football grounds for three years after admitting lobbing an orange smoke bomb onto the pitch at Bloomfield Road.

Joshua Ayres’ stunt came during the Seasiders’ local derby game against Preston North End on October 23, Blackpool Magistrates’ Court was told this week.

Apprentice mechanic Ayres, of Wetherby Avenue, South Shore, admitted throwing the smoke bomb and was slapped with a football banning order.

He must also pay £189 in costs.

Defending, Steven Townley said it was the first derby game between the two rival sides in 12 years, with Ayres setting the device off when Blackpool scored.

He threw it onto the turf as smoke billowed out.

Deputy district judge Jane Hamilton told him: “I am making the banning order because what you did may encourage others to do the same.”

Ayres had already been banned from Bloomfield Road by the club, the court heard.

Man accused of causing death by dangerous driving will stand trial

A man was sent for a crown court trial after being accused of causing the death by dangerous driving of an 82-year-old cyclist.

Jack Taylor, 23, of Baines Avenue, Blackpool, denied the charge.

Eric Williams died from head injuries after colliding with a car in Amounderness Way, Fleetwood, on April 24.

Taylor will appear at Preston Crown Court on January 12 and was bailed by Deputy District Judge Jane Hamilton, sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Extremely drunk man threw rocks and bottles at RNLI station

An extremely drunk man was seen throwing rocks and bottles at the RNLI lifeboat station in St Annes, Blackpool Magistrates’ Court was told.

The witnesses alerted police, with two officers arriving at 11.15pm to find Connor Antcliffe, 28, of East Bank Road in the town, asleep on the ground in an intoxicated stupor.

Antcliffe was woken up and arrested, the court was told, but was aggressive and evasive.

He was found guilty in his absence of being drunk and disorderly and was fined and told to pay costs totalling £339.

Burst tyre to blame for collision

A burst tyre was to blame for a collision on Devonshire Road ,Blackpool.

But the incident led police to discover the driver of the BMW involved was over the drink drive limit.

Normunds EKSTS (crrct)(43) of Oaklands Avenue ,Cleveleys admitted drink driving .

Blackpool Magistrates ordered him to pay£419in fines and costs.

He was also banned from driving for 20 months.

Drug driver

A police check on a driver revealed he was at the wheel under the influence of cannabis and cocaine.

Joshua O’Brien (27) of Church Street West,Radcliffe admitted drug driving on Preston New Road , Blackpool.

He was banned from the road for a year and must pay £239 in fines and costs by Blackpool Magistrates.

Woman given alcohol treatment order

A 26-year-old Blackpool woman was ordered by a court to address her drink problem.

Rebecca Harnett of Dinmore Avenue was given a nine month alcohol treatment order by the town’s magistrates .

She must also keep a six week curfew , do 29 rehabilitation days and pay £275 in costs and compensation.

Harnett admitted criminal damage to a t shirt and two necklaces worn by a man she also admitted assaulting.

The court heard the assault took place after Harnett had been drinking.



Blackpool reinstate strict Covid-19 protocols to help deal with rapid spread of Omicron variant

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool have made changes to the way they operate to deal with the spike in Covid-19 cases.


A number of this weekend’s games have already been called off as a result of positive cases within squads amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

As it stands, the Blackpool camp hasn’t been affected and Saturday’s clash against Peterborough United is set to go ahead as planned.

In the meantime, the Seasiders have returned to the protocols they put in place to deal with the spread of the coronavirus last season.

Players must drive to and from training on their own, rather than car share as many had previously been doing.

They will then take part in training and return home.

During the meantime, they will have no access to the showers and the changing rooms and won’t be able to eat in the canteen either.
Doctors at Blackpool are due to meet with the EFL today

Doctors at Blackpool are due to meet with the EFL today

Last season, the players were given hot food to take home with them.

Wearing masks is mandatory and players will travel in two buses to away games to help with social distancing.

From today, Blackpool’s players must also take their kit back home to clean.

These are all changes the club have made off their own backs, having not been issued with new guidance from the authorities.

Representatives from Blackpool’s medical team and their fellow Championship clubs are due to take part in a call with the EFL today though.

Speaking this morning, Blackpool boss Neil Critchley admitted he was worried about the escalating situation.

When asked if he was concerned, Pool’s head coach said: “When I think about it, yeah. But I try not to think about it too much because it’s out of my control.

“I’m just trying to concentrate on what we can control, which is our preparation for Peterborough on Saturday.

“If you stop to think about it, watch the news, listen to the radio and see the games being called off on Sky Sports News, then it’s only human to be slightly worried and concerned about the situation the country is facing.

“Forget football again if you like, this is a wider societal issue and we’d all be slightly worried about the situation.”

This weekend’s game against Peterborough will be the first instance where Blackpool supporters will be required to show a Covid-19 pass before they enter Bloomfield Road.

Covid Certification is now mandatory for entry into settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

As a result, supporters aged 18 and over will need to be prepared to show evidence of Covid Certification – either a Covid Pass or negative lateral flow test result – to enter stadiums where this applies.

For more information, click here.



Covid in Blackpool: are we in a better or worse situation than last Christmas?

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the UK and the Prime Minister is said to be considering introducing tough new restrictions on socialising – a situation reminiscent of last Christmas.


However, the country is in a very different position than it was last December.

The vaccine rollout has had a huge impact on the number of deaths and hospitalisations, although cases are surging across the country, including in Blackpool.

Based on analysis of UK Government data we reveal how the pandemic has changed in Blackpool over the last year.

Is Blackpool in a better or worse situation than last Christmas?

Is Blackpool in a better or worse situation than last Christmas?

The analysis covers the time period 13 December 2020 to 13 December 2021.

How many positive cases are there in Blackpool?

Case rates are dramatically higher in Blackpool than they were last December.

This year (on 13 December) Blackpool recorded 81 new cases, 268% more than on the same day last year when 22 new cases were reported.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Case numbers are based on the number of new cases by specimen date.

How many more deaths have there been Blackpool?

The vaccine rollout has seen deaths plummet in the last year but thousands of deaths have still been recorded across the UK, including many in Blackpool.

Last year Blackpool recorded a total of 260 deaths since the start of the pandemic, however, this year the number of total deaths has risen to 513 – 253 more people have died over that time period.

This is a 97.3% rise in the total number of coronavirus deaths in Blackpool.

The analysis is based on the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test by date of death.

The death rate per 100,000 people has dropped though.

Last year 7.2 deaths were recorded per 100,000 people in Blackpool, while in 2021 the death rate is 2.2.

Death rates are based on a seven day rolling average.

How many people are in hospital in Blackpool?

Hospital cases have also changed across Blackpool in the past year.

Last year on 14 December at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust there were 117 people in hospital and 7 people on mechanical ventilation beds, while this year there are 19 hospital cases and 4 people on mechanical ventilation beds.

This represents a 83.8% drop in hospital cases and a 43% drop in people on mechanical ventilation beds.



Covid near me: These are the latest cases for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre as Boris Johnson urges public to exercise caution

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 60,098 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.


There have now been 231,460 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (Monday, December 20, 2021).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 292,599.

The Government said a further 44 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 147,261.

This is the latest Covid picture in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

This is the latest Covid picture in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 34,401 (Up from 34,278) +123

Blackpool – 26,738 (Up from 26,656) +82

Burnley – 19,237 (Up from 19,168) +69

Chorley – 22,223 (Up from 22,100) +123

Fylde – 13,819 (Up from 13,776) +43

Hyndburn – 17,104 (Up from 17,041) +63

Lancaster – 23,869 (Up from 23,739) +130

Pendle – 18,207 (Up from 18,150) +57

Preston – 29,191 (Up from 29,078) +113

Ribble Valley – 12,333 (Up from 12,263) +70

Rossendale – 14,617 (Up from 14,555) +62

South Ribble – 20,897 (Up from 20,760) +137

West Lancs – 20,422 (Up from 20,318) +104

Wyre – 19,541 (Up from 19,484) +57



Covid near me: These are the latest cases for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre as reports suggest two week lockdown being considered

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 59,742 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.


There have now been 229,463 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (Saturday, December 18, 2021).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 290,235.

The Government said a further 125 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 147,173.

This is the latest Covid picture in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

This is the latest Covid picture in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 170,911 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 34,169

Blackpool – 26,603

Burnley – 19,102

Chorley – 21,979

Fylde – 13,722

Hyndburn – 16,995

Lancaster – 23,613

Pendle – 18,097

Preston – 28,973

Ribble Valley – 12,203

Rossendale – 14,494

South Ribble – 20,633

West Lancs – 20,235

Wyre – 19,417



Blackpool vaccine walk-in centres to get jabbed at over Christmas – dates, locations and times

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“Vaccinations continue to be our main defence in the fight against Covid”


Walk-in vaccination clinics will run at locations across Blackpool including car parks, supermarkets and the town centre.

Vaccines and booster jabs will be available without appointments on most days between now and the end of December.

To date, more than 15,000 jabs have been administered at Blackpool walk-in clinics since June 2021 and the public is being urged to take up the offer of boosters amid a huge spike in cases locally and across the country.

Booster jabs are now available for everyone aged 18 and over who had their second vaccination at least three months ago and the Blackpool walk-in sites are also open to anyone aged 16+ for first and second doses.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council, said: “Vaccinations continue to be our main defence in the fight against Covid. I urge anyone who hasn’t yet received one to visit one of our walk-in vaccination clinics to discuss with the team any concerns they may have.

It is also important that people aged 18 or over, or in an eligible group, get the Covid-19 booster vaccine, a vital dose of protection for those who have previously received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

“Vaccinations have and continue to be the most effective way of tackling the pandemic and allowing us all to lead as normal a life as possible. Vaccinations are available every day across the town in a variety of locations, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to access boosters.

“I’m so proud that our teams have reached this milestone figure of 15,000 vaccinations at the walk-in clinics. To date, 79% of Blackpool residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose. Without this we know the number of people being treated in hospital would be far higher. In the past year a quarter of a million vaccinations have been given in Blackpool.

“This couldn’t have been possible without the joint efforts of all the local agencies and the many, many volunteers who stepped up to help. I am so grateful to every single person that has been a part of our efforts to protect local residents. I urge all residents to take this request seriously. Please get yourself protected with the COVID-19 vaccination and do it now.”

Full list of Blackpool walk-in vaccine sites and times

Friday 17 December – Bickerstaffe Square, Talbot Rd, Blackpool – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Saturday 18 December – Community Testing Hub, Houndshill (opp rear entrance to M&S) – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Saturday 18 December – Odeon Blackpool Car Park, Rigby Rd – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Sunday 19 December – (12-15 age group only) Community Testing Hub, Houndshill (opp rear entrance to M&S) – 10.00am to 4.00pm

Sunday 19 December – Tesco Extra, Clifton Retail Park, Blackpool – 10.00am to 4.00pm

Monday 20 December – No.3 Pub Car Park, Whitegate Drive – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Tuesday 21 December – Town Centre (opposite Boots, corner of Victoria St & Bank Hey St) – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Wednesday 22 December – Lidl, Devonshire Rd, Blackpool – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Thursday 23 December – Palatine Sports Centre, St Annes Rd – 9.00am to 6.00pm

Wednesday 29 December – Tesco Extra, Clifton Retail Park, Blackpool – 10.00am to 4.00pm

Thursday 30 December – Red Lion Pub Car Park, Devonshire Rd, Bispham – 10.00am to 4.00pm

Friday 31 December – Odeon Blackpool Car Park, Rigby Rd – 9.00am to 1.00pm




First Covid-19 vaccines rolled out in Blackpool one year ago

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A year ago, a ray of hope shone down on the Fylde coast as the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccination were rolled out following months of uncertainty and lockdown struggles.


Agnes Lovatt, 82, was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s vaccination hub on December 8 2020.

Since then, 89 per cent of eligible patients living in Blackpool, have received their first jab, with numbers raising to 99 per cent for people over the age of 50, according to the CCG.

Some 2,692 children aged 12 to 15 (43 per cent), and 1,860 aged 16 and 17 (61 per cent) are included in the overall figures.

The vaccination centre at the Winter Gardens

The vaccination center at the Winter Gardens

In Fylde and Wyre, 91 per cent of eligible patients have received their first vaccination, including 4,139 children aged 12 to 15 (48 per cent) and 2,790 children aged 16 and 17 (70 per cent).

In total, 1,285,115 patients in Lancashire have been given their first jab.

Dr Arif Rapjura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council, said: “There is no doubt that we are in privileged position in terms of the vaccinations we have available here in the UK.

“The vaccination program has been a resounding success, the statistics speak for themselves. Some 72 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose. Without this we know the number of people being treated in hospital would be far higher.

Volunteer vaccinator Stan Ralph with 87-year-old Michael Doidge.

Volunteer vaccinator Stan Ralph with 87-year-old Michael Doidge.

“In the past year a quarter of a million vaccinations have been given in Blackpool. This couldn’t have been possible without the joint efforts of all the local agencies and the many, many volunteers who stepped up to help. I am so grateful to every single person that has been a part of our efforts to protect local residents.

“Vaccinations continue to be our main defense in the fight against Covid. I urge anyone who hasn’t yet received one to visit our vaccine bus to discuss with the team any concerns they may have. It is also important that people that are eligible get the Covid-19 booster vaccine which an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to ensure continued protection.”

In Blackpool, 81 per cent of eligible patients have received their second dose of the vaccination, with numbers increasing to 84 per cent in Fylde and Wyre.

Blackpool CCG has administered 35,956 booster shots so far while Fylde and Wyre CCG has administered 66,608 to help improve the protection provided by the first two doses of the vaccine.

Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, clinical director for the Fylde Coast CCGs, said: “December 2020 saw the UK become the first country to rollout a Covid-19 vaccination program, a program that is the largest vaccination program in the history of the NHS. The resilience of the staff involved and their steadfast approach to this delivery has been extraordinary.

“Grateful thanks must also go to the countless volunteers who have provided the NHS with welcome assistance.

“The vaccination has offered good protection against the Alpha and Delta variants, reducing the rates of serious illness and death significantly and the public are encouraged to have their booster dose when called. Work continues to study the effectiveness of the vaccine against the Omicron variant, but people should not be hesitant on getting their booster as the main variant in circulation is the Delta variant.

“Whilst it is impossible to say what life would be like without the vaccine, I think it is safe to say we would have seen greater restrictions on free movement in the form of extended lockdowns, along with seeing greater levels of serious illness and death.”

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine formed a huge operation spanning the whole of the Fylde coast.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was among the first hospitals to receive the Pfizer vaccine, one week after it was approved by regulators. Since then, it has given more than 50,000 vaccination doses including more than 21,000 first doses, more than 21,000 second doses, and more than 9,000 boosters.

People aged 80 and over, as well as care workers, were given top priority at first as temporary vaccine hubs were set up all over the coast, while pharmacies leading the way at AFC Fylde, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Centre in St Annes, Moor Park Health and Wellbeing Centre and Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre.

The Winter Gardens was transformed into a mass vaccine center for months to keep up with demands, while some dedicated medical staff stepped out of retirement to administer the injections.

Now, following the announcement that the Government is set to make boosters available to more people to protect them against the new Omicron Covid-19 variant, local hubs are preparing for a busy winter.

Susan Wild, program lead of vaccination and testing at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “The hospital was among the first in the country to set up a vaccination hub and begin offering the vaccine to the public.

“It takes a minimum of 12 staff, both operational and clinical, to run the unit each day and since then we’ve had more than 70 different staff members work in the unit. These have included staff from across the Trust: including people who have retired and returned to help, and colleagues who have been redeployed from elsewhere. It’s been a real team effort.

“The vaccination roll-out has had a significant impact – the UK Health Security Agency estimates that, as of 24 September, more than 125,000 deaths and 24 million infections have been prevented as a result of the program. It’s a real privilege to have played a part in that.

“Our staff from the vaccination hub have some wonderful memories of the support they’ve been able to offer people – we’ve been able to reassure vulnerable patients, support elderly people at the start of the pandemic who had missed having face-to-face contact so much, and it was great to see all the volunteer blood bikers and have the opportunity to thank them for their work.

“The vaccination program across Lancashire and South Cumbria is once again expecting to step up over the winter after the Government announced it would be making vaccinations and boosters available to more cohorts of people soon, so we are getting ready to support this in any way we can. We’ve got an experienced team who are ready for the challenge.”



Blackpool fans will require Covid pass for matches

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool fans will need to provide proof of coronavirus vaccination or a negative lateral flow test to attend sporting events in England with crowds of over 10,000 after the Government announced it is to implement ‘Plan B’.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference at Downing Street on Wednesday evening to introduce new measures in response to rising cases and the spread of the Omicron variant.

He confirmed that under the new rules – which will come into effect in a week’s time – for entry to any venue with more than 10,000 people, double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test will be mandatory.

That means the first game affected by the new rules for Seasiders’ supporters will be next weekend’s home game against Peterborough.

New government rules are on the way for football supporters

New government rules are on the way for football supporters

The Prime Minister said: “We will make the NHS Covid pass mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

“The NHS Covid pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out.

“And having taken clinical advice since the emergence of Omicron, a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.

“As we set out in Plan B, we will give businesses a week’s notice, so this will come into force in a week’s time, helping to keep these events and venues open at full capacity while giving everyone who attends them confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimise risk to others.”



How Blackpool fans could be affected by Boris Johnson’s ‘Plan B’ proposals to deal with Omicron Covid-19 variant

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool fans could be forced to use vaccine passports to gain entry into Bloomfield Road and away stadiums if and when prime minister Boris Johnson announces his Plan B to deal with the Omicron variant of Covid-19.


Plan B measures, including the use of vaccine passports and advice to work from home, are “likely” to be introduced as cases of Covid-19 rise according to reports.

Several news sources have reported that further measures are imminent to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed this winter.

Reports have suggested that Omicron is more transmissible than previous strains of coronavirus.

Restrictions could be introduced as soon as this week and Blackpool fans will be amongst those impacted if vaccine passports are introduced.

Sky News report that so-called vaccine passports would be introduced to outdoor crowded settings with 4,000 or more people present.

They will also reportedly be required at any venue with over 10,000 people present – which would include Bloomfield Road and any stadium the Seasiders visit in the Championship this season.

Blackpool fans were required to show a valid Covid pass for their recent trip to Swansea

Blackpool fans were required to show a valid Covid pass for their recent trip to Swansea

Certain exemptions apply to the vaccine passport plan, including people who are unable to receive the vaccine for medical reason or those under 17 years of age.

The government are thought to see the introduction of passports as an alternative to mandating that games must be played behind closed doors, as happened during the first coronavirus lockdown last year.

Pool supporters have been allowed into grounds in England without any restrictions since the start of the current season, although vaccine passports were needed to get into Swansea City’s stadium last month because of Welsh law.

To get into that game, Pool fans could either show proof of their double vaccination status, confirmation of a negative lateral flow test within 24 hours of kick-off or evidence they had recently recovered from Covid-19, no sooner than 14 days and no longer than six months before the day of the game.

If and when Plan B is enacted, officials will move to confirm the exact requirements of the Covid pass – and how it will affect Blackpool fans looking to support their team home and away in the coming months.



Blackpool Christmas shopping: How shoppers contended with bad weather and new Covid rules on Small Business Saturday

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Amid fears the new Omicron variant of Covid may deter shoppers from heading out on their Christmas shopping, it was more the weather that those pounding the streets had to contend with on Saturday.


As our pictures and video show, plenty got their heads down and hoods up to grab those all-important gifts on the first weekend of December.

New face covering rules also came into force in England on Tuesday in response to concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

On Sunday, a South African health researcher said early data suggests the Omicron variant of coronavirus is highly transmissible, but has a less than 1% chance of re-infection and typically results in “milder” disease.

Shoppers brave the bad weather

Shoppers brave the bad weather

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Professor Willem Hanekom, director of the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa said: “We know three things that we didn’t know last week, the first thing is that the virus is spreading extraordinarily fast in South Africa, the increase in cases is much steeper than it’s been in the past three waves so it seems that Omicron is able to spread very easily and virtually all the cases that we see in South Africa right now are Omicron.

“The third little bit of data we have already relates to clinical cases and how severe the disease is. The only data suggests the disease may occur more in younger people and mostly younger people who are unvaccinated and overall so far the disease has appeared to be milder but again I want to say we have to be cautious – these are very early days.”

On the retail front, it was Small Business Saturday with politicians and business leaders calling for shoppers to support small businesses to help them tackle the fresh uncertainty they face heading into the crucial festive trading period.

Shoppers brave the bad weather

Shoppers brave the bad weather

The aim is to encourage people to spend money in smaller shops, recognising the contribution of independent businesses to communities during the lockdown.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “We all need to show small businesses our love this weekend. Not only do they make a massive contribution to our economy, but an immeasurable difference to all our lives.

“Despite demonstrating incredible entrepreneurialism and agility, alongside the support they’ve shown staff, customers and communities, many are still facing a really tough time.

“Small Business Saturday is a fantastic chance to get behind these firms and say a big ‘thank you’ for how amazing they are.”

Research by Small Business Saturday supporter American Express found that while small business confidence is starting to rebound, challenges included the cost of goods, rising energy costs and product shortages.

Figures show Black Friday sales failed to boost high street footfall despite a resurgence in consumer confidence and bricks-and-mortar shopping.

Total UK footfall fell by 15.7% in November on the same month in 2019 as the harsh weather deterred some customers from shopping in stores, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

However it was still comparatively strong at the second highest figure for this year, only second to October.



Is the Omicron Covid variant in Blackpool and the Fylde coast? Interactive map shows where coronavirus strain has been detected

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The are currently 22 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning that community transmission is “likely”.


The number of Omicron cases confirmed in the UK so far has risen to 22, the Prime Minister has said.

Thirteen cases of the variant, which may be more infectious, have been found in England with a further nine in Scotland, Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Health chiefs fear existing vaccines could be less effective against the new mutation.

The scenes in Blackpool yesterday

The scenes in Blackpool yesterday

While there have been no confirmed cases of the new variant in Blackpool or across the Fylde coast, one case have been confirmed in the North West.

He told the press conference: “The cases that we identified at the start of the weekend, we were able to confirm quickly that they were linked to travel to South Africa. They were also part of one sort of family cluster.

“The recent cases that we’ve confirmed today, we’re not able to say whether or not, at this point … we don’t know, we’re doing that work right now at speed to determine whether they all have a link to South Africa or not.

“Is there likely to be community transmission? I think we have to be realistic, there is likely to be, as we’re seeing in other European countries.”

UK Health Security Agency chief Dr Jenny Harries updated Cabinet on Tuesday morning on the latest coronavirus developments, along with England’s chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser (CSA) Sir Patrick Vallance.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “While further time is needed to study the characteristics of this variant and with work ongoing at Porton Down to assess it, both the CMO and CSA emphasised that getting a booster vaccine was the best way to gain protection against new and existing variants.”

The Prime Minister told Cabinet that the Government had taken “decisive and proportionate action against the new variant to slow the seeding and potential spread of Omicron and that our most important defence remains vaccinations and boosting our booster programme”, the spokesman said.

Booster jabs are to be offered to all over-18s in the UK, as part of efforts to bolster the vaccination programme, with children aged 12 to 15 invited for a second jab.



Spurned teen faces jail after following the child of his older blonde lover who dumped him – saying he LIED about his real age

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A spurned teen lover exacted his revenge on his older blonde lover, who dumped him and claimed he had lied about his real age, by following her child home from school, a court was told.


Cameron Gillett enjoyed romps with the mum-of-one marketing director for months before she called it quits, with magistrates in Blackpool being told she ended the affair after finding out he was only 19 and not 25 like she’d been told.

She refused his calls to her home and wouldn’t answer his phone calls.

Enraged Gillett, of Hoyle Avenue, St Annes, then threatened to tell her best friend about their trysts, the court was told.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court

And prosecutor Scott Parker, who said Gillett got his hands on a silver Mercedes, which was seen following the woman’s child as they were being driven home by his victim’s friend.

It tried to force her black 4×4 off the road before doing an emergency stop in front of it, the court heard.

The pal called police and her parents before driving home – where Gillett turned up before smashing his way onto her driveway, causing £1,400 damage to electric security gates.

Gillett, who had keys to his ex-lover’s house, didn’t have permission to use the car, which belongs to a gas worker who was away, Mr Parker said.

He pleaded guilty to taking the car without consent and driving it dangerously.

He also admitted not having a driving licence or insurance, criminal damage, and sending threatening messages.

Defending, Hugh Pond said: “He was 19 when he met the 35-year-old woman, with whom he had a sexual relationship for a considerable time.

“He says she was fully aware of his real age and never said he was 25.

“When she told him it was over, he became emotionally fragile. He knew both the women involved in this case and knew they were bosom pals.”

Mr Pond said Gillett, who was bailed before a sentencing hearing to be held at Preston Crown Court, didn’t know there were children in the 4×4 when he followed it.

Mr Parker asked magistrates to slap a restraining order on Gillett, who was given an interim driving ban, forbidding him from entering Islay Road and Laverton Road in St Annes.



Omicron Covid variant: Face coverings in shops and on public transport to be made mandatory again

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Mask rules will be mandatory in shops and on public transport, Omicron contacts will have to self-isolate and new arrivals will have to quarantine until they test negative for coronavirus, after two cases of the concerning new Omicron variant were detected in the UK.


Boris Johnson warned the new variant could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, as he announced a strengthening of England’s rules at a Downing Street press conference, after the infections were identified in Nottingham and Brentwood in Essex.

In an attempt to slow the spread, the Prime Minister announced “temporary and precautionary” measures to be reviewed in three weeks, alongside a “boost” to the booster campaign.

The UK Health Security Agency confirmed the cases, which are both believed to be connected and linked to travel to southern Africa, after genomic sequencing overnight.

PM Boris Johnson said the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport will be tightened

PM Boris Johnson said the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport will be tightened

The individuals and their households were ordered into self-isolation and targeted testing was being carried out in areas where they are thought to have been infectious

Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola will face travel restrictions from Sunday, when they will join South Africa and five other neighbouring nations on England’s red list.

Mr Johnson said: “We need to take targeted and proportionate measures now as a precaution while we find out more.

“First we need to slow down the seeding of the variant in this country, we need to buy time for our scientists to understand exactly what we’re dealing with, and for us to get more people vaccinated, and above all to get more people boosted.”

But the Prime Minister said border measures can “only ever minimise and delay the arrival of a new variant rather than stop it all together”, so all contacts with a suspected case of the new variant will have to isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

“We will also go further in asking all of you to help contain the spread of this variant by tightening up the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport,” Mr Johnson said.

While the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron is currently unclear, Mr Johnson said there are “good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measure of protection”.

He said “we’re going to boost the booster campaign” by asking the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to consider giving boosters to “as wide a group as possible as well as reducing the gap” between second doses and the booster.



Blackpool lockdown trip costs man more than £1,000

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Spencer Williams has been left counting the cost of his trip to the seaside town


Blackpool (Image: Getty Images)

A man has been left with a bill of more than £1,000 after driving to Blackpool during lockdown restrictions.

Spencer Williams made the 50 mile trip to Blackpool on March 27 this year where he was caught by officers from Lancashire Constabulary.

The 21-year-old, from Great Sankey near Warrington, lived in a Tier 4 area at the time. He admitted to leaving the area without a reasonable excuse to be outside his place of residence.

Williams, of Cheddington Crescent, pleaded guilty to the offence on November 10 at Preston Magistrates’ Court, CheshireLive reports.

He now has to pay more than £1,000.

On top of a £842 fine is costs of £90 and a victim surcharge of £84, bringing the total to £1,016.

Warrington was under Tier 4 restrictions at the time of the offence in March 2021, which meant that residents could not be outside their homes without a “reasonable excuse”.

Travelling between counties was prohibited to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Across England, anyone over the age of 18 was at risk of a £100 fine for a first offence rising to £6,400 for repeat offenders.



13 more die with Covid at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as medics continue to see ‘very, very poorly’ pregnant women who avoided the jab

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Twenty-nine patients within 14 days of their first Covid diagnosis were being treated in hospitals on the Fylde coast as of yesterday.


Some 22 were on general wards at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, six were in intensive care, and one was in Clifton Hospital in St Annes, medical director Dr Jim Gardner said.

A further 36 people remain in hospital but are no longer considered Covid-positive because their diagnosis came over a fortnight ago.

Dr Gardner said there has been an ‘encouraging reduction’ in the number of Covid patients, which peaked at 95 during this latest wave of infections.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

He said: “It looks like the community numbers have plateaued out a bit in the mid-300s per 100,000 and it may have been partly due to half-term [at schools], although it’s generally reported that the numbers were dropping a little bit before that.

“Encouragingly from the hospital perspective – because most, though not all, poorly patients who are in hospital with Covid are over the age of 65 – we are actually seeing the positive rate in the community in the over-60s dropping off, so that’s really important.

“Actually, that probably links to the really remarkable effectiveness of the Covid booster jab.

“If you are over the age of 50 and it’s coming up to or is more than six months since you had your original course, please arrange to get a Covid booster jab because the effectiveness and the safety of that jab is astonishing.”

Ministers across the UK this week accepted a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that the booster programme should be extended to include people aged 40 to 49.

Second doses for 16 and 17-year-olds have also been approved after the JCVI said this group should be offered a second jab of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab 12 weeks after they received the first.

The JCVI said that the broadening of the booster campaign and the offer of a second jab to 16 and 17-year-olds will “help extend our protection into 2022”.

Speaking during his weekly coronavirus briefing yesterday, Dr Gardner said Covid remains a ‘very dangerous condition’ as he reported the deaths of 13 more patients within 28 days of their diagnosis.

It takes the death toll at the Vic to 875, after 23 deaths were announced last week too.

“That’s with Covid and not necessarily of Covid,” Dr Gardner added.

“But it clearly becomes a contributory factor to a complicated health story often for people.

“We have seen particularly some younger patients, and I’ll say again about ladies who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant: it’s so important to get the Covid jabs in that group because we have seen some very, very poorly ladies and it’s a very sad and difficult time if that occurs.”