By Ned Simons
Lancashire has agreed to escalate its coronavirus lockdown restrictions to tier 3, the highest alert level.
People from different households will not be allowed to mix, pubs and bars not serving food will be forced to close and residents will be told not to travel outside the area.
It is the second area of England, after the Liverpool City Region, to be put into the tier 3, or “very high”, category.
A furious political row between local politicians and the government has so far prevented Greater Manchester from also moving into tier 3.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has demanded any stricter measures must be accompanied with more financial support for people and businesses.
But Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said more action was needed in the city to control the virus and avoid a second nation lockdown.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme he urged Burnham to “do the right thing by the people of Manchester”.
London will move into tier 2 on Saturday, banning people from separate households mixing indoors – including in pubs and restaurants.
Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield will also move into the second tier of measures.
It comes amid warnings there are around 47,000 Covid-19 infections occurring daily across England, with deaths expected to hit 240 to 690 per day by October 26.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) biostatistics unit at Cambridge University estimated cases are doubling in under seven days, with a “substantial proportion” of those being asymptomatic.
The figures are fed to the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides real-time information to the government through the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and to regional Public Health England (PHE) teams.