Preston Council Chiefs have today launched a powerful ‘don’t kill granny’ message throughout the media to warn young members of the local community to follow the rules after it was revealed half of the 61 coronavirus new cases were found to be among people aged under 30. This comes after pubs and bars were very busy last night despite the Government’s warning just hours earlier – and young people were ignoring social distancing and noticeably mixing in big crowds, putting them in danger of contracting the virus.  The stark warning also follows last week’s controversial reopening of Preston’s Switch nightclub to young punters.

The rate of new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in Preston has jumped from 21.7 in the seven days to July 28 to 42.6 in the week up to August 4, according to new PHE data.  This may be a result of many of those who do get infected being asymptomatic and not even realising that they are then passing it on to loved ones when returning home.

Adrian Phillips, Preston’s City Council’s Chief Executive told this morning’s BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I know our director of public health has said ‘don’t kill granny’ to young people to try and focus the message. Young people are inevitably among the brave and the bold, they want to be adventurous and out and about but we know that they have the virus, are more likely to at the moment, they often have less symptoms but they do take it back to their household and the community spread we are seeing we believe in many cases are young people taking it home and catching the virus.

‘We’re going to have to repeat it and whether Radio 4 is the correct channel for that I’m not quite sure but we’re using multiple channels and we’re working with community groups who are doing peer to peer messaging. It’s just trying so many different ways to get the message to all communities, to all areas of our city that the virus is still something to be really wary of.’

 

Preston’s new restrictions came into force at midnight and mean residents cannot have other people in their homes and gardens, cannot visit others’ homes or gardens, even if they are in an unaffected area, and are not permitted to mix with other households in indoor venues.

Social bubbles are exempt from the restrictions, and residents can meet in groups of up to six – or more than six if exclusively from two households – in outdoor areas such as parks and beer gardens.

Households can also visit indoor hospitality venues, as long as they do not mix with others.

The restrictions on gatherings will be reviewed again next week, with any changes to be announced by August 14.