Lytham St. Anne’s, as part of Lancashire’, is now a ‘enhanced response area’, a status which has been conferred on the Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Blackburn with Darwen Council areas – but not Blackpool. The move to being designated an enhanced response area was last week requested by the LCC Director of Public Health, Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi, who said Covid cases were ‘continuing to rise at a worrying pace’.
Matt Hancock said in the House of Commons at 12.30 p.m. today (08.06.2021): ‘I can tell the House that today, working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what’s working in Bolton, to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we’re seeing there. This includes rapid response teams, putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in school testing. I want to encourage everyone in Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer. We know that this approach can work, we’ve seen it work in south London and in Bolton in stopping a rise in the number of cases. This is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Manchester and in Lancashire, and of course it’s vital that people in these areas – as everywhere else – come forward and get the jab as soon as they’re eligible because that is our way out of this pandemic together.’
Lancashire residents have been be advised to ‘minimise travel in and out of affected areas’ under new guidance.
The package also includes:
- A rapid response team deployed to support local authorities to plan and coordinate their ground campaign – which can include support measures such as testing and door-to-door visits to engage with residents.
- The ability to request support from Military Aid to the Civil Authority, including for the measures above.
- Support to drive vaccine uptake across eligible cohorts by unweighting resources for operational delivery of the vaccine programme.
- Local authorities being able to approach their local Police force, Health and Safety Executive and other enforcement agencies to seek support in compliance and enforcement as necessary.
- Subject to agreement, the ability to designate a Vaccines Champion to ensure all available resources from the vaccines programme are harnessed to support access and uptake in local areas, linking this surge activity to the community engagement on testing.
- Specialist communications support to support increased awareness and focused engagement with disadvantaged groups.
- Supervised in-school testing.
- Wastewater testing samples prioritised for sequencing.
- Allowing local directors of public health to recommend additional control, measures in educational settings.
- Supporting spot checks to ensure workplaces are Covid-19 safe.
- Advising people in these areas to take particular caution when meeting others outside of their household or support bubble and to minimise travel in and out of affected areas.
The Department for Health and Social Care has also confirmed surge testing and enhanced contract tracing will also be made available.
The new support and advice has been issued to all 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester as well as places within the Lancashire County Council area. These include Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre.