FAQs

Updated 18.09.20

Our Coronavirus page contains lots of information about the local restrictions, testing, data, the Help Hub, support for business, support for residents, and schools information. Please check these pages for the latest updates.

New restrictions will be in place from Tuesday 22nd September. Until then you must continue to follow the existing measures.

General

What areas do the new measures cover?

From Tuesday 22nd September the new measures will cover:

  • Blackburn South and Lower Darwen
  • Blackburn South East
  • Darwen East
  • Darwen South
  • Darwen West
  • Ewood
  • Livesey with Pleasington
  • Mill Hill and Moorgate
  • West Pennine

You can check which ward you live in here.

The remaining wards must continue to follow the existing targeted interventions.

Other areas across Lancashire and the North West are also facing similar restrictions. You can read the Government press statement here.

I live in one of the eight wards or have formed a support bubble with someone in these wards, what should I do?

If you live in one of the eight wards with existing targeted interventions you must continue to follow those rules.

I live outside of the eight wards, what should I do?

From Tuesday 22 September:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their household or protective support bubble in private homes or gardens.
  • Hospitality for food and drink must operate table service only.
  • Leisure and entertainment venues, including restaurants, pubs and cinemas, must close between 10pm and 5am

Residents are also advised to follow the below guidelines to further reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Only use public transport for essential journeys – such as travelling to school or work. A face covering must be worn on public transport unless you are exempt.
  • Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Residents are urged to only visit indoor locations such as restaurants and pubs places with other members of their household or support bubble.

If you live in one of the eight Wards with existing targeted interventions you must continue to follow those rules.

Why are the new measures being introduced?

These measures will help to address the significant rise in coronavirus cases both in Blackburn with Darwen and the wider North West region in recent weeks.

There is an increased risk of transmission the more people who gather together. Data shows an increased rate of transmission in homes, hospitality venues and through grassroot sports.

We are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, keep businesses open and children in school, which these measures will help with.

Who is allowed into my home?

You must not meet people who you do not live with inside your home (except those in your support bubble).

However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule listed below:

  • To provide emergency assistance
  • To attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • To visit a person who is dying
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • For work, volunteering or charitable purposes
  • For education or training purposes
  • For the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
  • To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • To facilitate a house move (this includes viewing a property)
  • To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as one or more of their parents.
What is a support bubble?

For the latest information and guidelines on support bubbles visit the GOV UK website.

I am shielding – what should I do?

If you live in one of the eight wards with targeted interventions you should continue to shield until October 5. In the meantime please see the latest information.

If you live outside of these eight Wards you should continue to shield until September 21 as planned.

Do these measures affect education?

No. Schools, colleges and universities remain open and are operating in a COVID-secure way.

Can I travel for work or schools?

Yes. People can travel in or out of the Borough for work and education purposes. Workplaces and schools should be implementing COVID-secure measures.

Do these measures affect childcare?

You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children. You can also continue to employ nannies, including those living outside of the region.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Can I visit someone’s house in an area not subject to restrictions?

You must not visit anyone’s home either within or out of the restricted area except for your support bubble or for the excepted reasons listed above.

Why can I visit the pub but not my relative’s house?

This is because the hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and test and trace, which private homes don’t have.

If you live in one of the eight Wards with existing targeted interventions you must continue to follow those rules.

What are the changes for hospitality venues?

Hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am.

During open hours businesses must operate table service only including ordering food and drinks.

We are waiting further guidance on this.

Can I go to the gym, gym class or a swimming pool?

Yes, as long as these venues have the required Covid-secure risk assessments and guidelines in place.

What about furlough for people who won’t be able to work as a result?

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is due to continue during September and October.

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500).

See whether you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

Can I still meet people outside of my household or support bubble in a pub, café or restaurant?

If you live in one of the eight wards with targeted interventions, you should not meet with people you do not live with, except if they are in your support bubble.

If you live outside one of these wards the government advice is to only visit these venues with other members of your household (or support bubble).

You can find out more specific information for your area here.

Can I still meet people outside of my household or support bubble in public outdoor spaces?

If you live in one of the eight wards with targeted interventions, you should not meet with people you do not live with, except if they are in your support bubble.

If you live outside these wards, the Government advice is to avoid mixing with any additional household in any location to further decrease the risk of spreading the virus.

What are the changes to playing sports?

Unless formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, with guidance issued by a sports governing body, team sports should not take place at an indoor or outdoor venue with people who you don’t live with.

You should not spectate at amateur and semi-professional sports events.

We are awaiting further guidance for sporting organisations and will update our webpage when this is available.

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?

Official/registered tradespeople can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there.

What about public transport and car sharing?

Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work. Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.

You are advised not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble, and to use public transport for essential journeys instead.

Can I still go on holiday?

You can still go on holiday within the UK or abroad, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with). You need to follow any rules in the area you visit and be aware of the self-isolation rules when travelling to and from certain countries.

People can visit the region on holiday but must comply with the local restrictions.

What information is there about covid-19 hospital activity?

You can read information published by the NHS on their website.

How long will these new restrictions last?

The new measures start from Tuesday 22 September and will be monitored closely and reviewed on a weekly basis. The next steps will depend on the impact the measures have.

If you live in one of the eight wards with targeted interventions you must continue to follow those rules.

How do I report a business that is not following guidance?

If you have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have proper social distancing precautions in place please email publicprotection@blackburn.gov.uk.

Please see the advice for businesses information.

How do I report a person that is not following guidance?

Visit the Lancashire Constabulary website for information on reporting an incident.