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COVID-19: A story of two cities as Lancaster and Blackburn put together for Christmas | UK Information

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On the Lancaster Brewery the Christmas lights could also be on, however the much-loved markets are usually not.

Often at the moment of 12 months it is full of 1000’s of individuals, mulled wine flowing, sausages scorching however as a substitute it is abandoned.

This metropolis has the bottom COVID-19 an infection charges in Lancashire, lots decrease than areas round it, however even after the nationwide lockdown is about to be lifted, there is not any signal of salvaging what stays of the festive buying and selling.

England’s strengthened tier system might cripple this metropolis. It is as a result of solely 30 miles south, nonetheless within the county, coronavirus has Blackburn firmly in its grip.

This city is battling with a few of the highest COVID charges within the nation and well being officers warn the lifting of lockdown measures on the two December could possibly be detrimental.

Lancaster at the moment sits at a ‘very low’ danger stage, however with its neighbours struggling to maintain on prime with their {cases}, the brand new tier system might imply it too should endure from powerful measures.

Companies listed below are already clinging on for survival, they simply hope they will be rewarded with a looser lockdown subsequent week.

Chris Duffy organises the Christmas markets right here, he stated he was “completely gutted” when he needed to cancel this 12 months’s spectacle.

Picture:
Chris Duffy usually organises Christmas markets in Lancaster

“It is a powerful one to swallow actually, if we’re within the prime tier it provides extra problems to what we will present,” he stated.

“We simply need that Christmas ambiance; we would like that actual magical time to be accessible to us all.

“The restrictions are restrictions, and that is powerful, however we’ve got to comply with go well with. It is simply after we’ve labored so laborious to ensure persons are protected in Lancaster, folks have been abiding by the principles and lacking out on sure issues we would normally do. To be lumped in with different locations that are not abiding by the principles, that is actually powerful for us.”

The temper is comparable amongst different individuals who dwell in Lancaster. They assume it might be unfair in the event that they need to dwell underneath harder restrictions due to the excessive charges of an infection in different cities.

Companies in Blackburn although are additionally on their knees, they could be determined for the lockdown restrictions to finish however with out harder tier restrictions all through December it might be some time earlier than this city is out of the woods.

Blackburn’s public well being director, Dominic Harrison, advised Sky Information: “Blackburn has an even bigger problem than the nationwide common and has been working laborious.

Dominic Harrison is the Public Health Director for Blackburn
Picture:
Dominic Harrison is the general public well being director for Blackburn

“Lately we have been extra profitable in getting these charges down through the lockdown, however we’re nonetheless struggling.

“Personally, the tier guidelines needs to be common however the recommendation on security and lowering the dangers in these circumstances needs to be focused in numerous methods in numerous areas.

“I believe it might be unfair to have one rule for some and one other rule for others,” he added.

100 years in the past, the final main pandemic – the Spanish flu – ended.

Phillip Ainsworth’s great-grandfather lived and labored via it as a jeweller. For 150 years his household’s enterprise has been offering jewelry to folks throughout Lancashire.

However throughout this pandemic the enterprise is struggling and with tight measures from the tier system across the nook, Phillip says it could possibly be dangerous.

“If we stay shut over the December interval it will likely be detrimental to our enterprise,” he stated. “December for jewellers is crucial month of the 12 months. We merely simply would not have the ability to survive.

“Proper now we’re spending loads of time on weekends getting COVID safe and prepared for the 2nd of December when the nationwide lockdown ends, if it is taken away from us it might be tragic.”

Phillip Ainsworth
Picture:
Phillip Ainsworth’s enterprise is struggling because of the pandemic

Phillip stated he agrees that Blackburn will want harder restrictions when the tiered measures come into power, however he believes his store is protected sufficient to be open and to commerce to the general public.

“We’re hoping they will take a look at our enterprise individually and say that we will open,” he stated. “We delight ourselves on customer support with folks bodily coming into the store, you’ll be able to’t do this on the web so we want folks to return again in right here.”

This actually is a story of two cities and it lays naked the troublesome choices confronted by the PM as he tries to plan a route out of this nationwide lockdown. They could solely be a matter of miles aside, however Lancaster longs for lifting, whereas Blackburn’s battle continues.



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