Council’s no complacency warning as coronavirus rates on the rise

Published Thursday 18 March 2021 at 16:02

As the country gears up for the next wave of lockdown recovery, Blackburn with Darwen Council bosses are warning people not to get complacent.

In February Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his four-step ‘roadmap to recovery’ – outlining when social restrictions from Coronavirus could be eased.

However, Council bosses are reminding people that these provisional dates are subject to change and, with latest data showing rising infection rates in Blackburn with Darwen, now is not the time to let down their guard.

Rates locally have been on a steady upward trend since March 3 just before schools went back. Infection rates risking a surge in hospitalisations is one of the Government’s tests around lockdown easing, others include evidence around the vaccine roll out, new variants of the virus, and if hospital admissions are higher than expected.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

We know residents and businesses are tired of this pandemic, ongoing restrictions and the devastating impact it has had on our community and economy. However, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. We are not quite there yet but the future is in our hands.

The Prime Minister has outlined the four steps to recovery, stating that the plan will be guided by data, not dates. We’ve seen our data rising steadily since just before schools went back which should act as a warning. Dates are provisional and the earliest time that restrictions can be lifted – but there are several tests which have to be met to do so. If it is not safe to progress to the next stage of recovery, we won’t.

If we keep on doing the right thing, we can all play our part. We will get there and get back to some sort of normality if we work together.

These steps give us all an idea of the way back with the targets we must reach.”

Easing restrictions will see family and friends reunite, non-essential businesses to reopen, and the return to work for thousands.

Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said some events and activities may start to come back this year – but they may still look different from before.

He said:

We must all continue to respect the restrictions by wearing face coverings, social distancing, washing our hands and generally doing our bit.

Everyone is keen to see the end of the restrictions. The National Lockdown has meant months of isolation for many and people making sacrifices for the health of the nation. However, now is the time to ensure we continue to follow the rules so we can reopen the country step-by-step in a safe and sustainable way.”

Anyone with symptoms, or concerns about possible symptoms, is urged to get tested. Rapid result testing is also available for people without symptoms who are leaving home to work or live close to a community testing venue. More information at:

Mr Harrison added:

Help us protect your family, workmates and community. As we start to bring back more aspects of normal life, testing will become a common task at more workplaces, in community settings and elsewhere to make sure everyone is as safe as possible. Regular testing along with the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ instruction remain simple but vital ways to keep us all protected.

It is also absolutely vital to get vaccinated when you can. This is the best way to protect yourself and everyone else. This is already having a big impact on transmission rates and serious illness caused by Covid-19 and it can only get better if as many people as possible have the vaccine when they can.”

Coun Khan added:

We can do this – but we must do it together. If we can come together as a community we can emerge stronger than ever and get our borough back to the vibrant place it was.”



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