FIRMS are being urged to follow the new Government guidelines ahead of re-opening from July 4.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out further changes to lockdown measures to allow more businesses to open with new guidelines to keep staff and customers safe including changes in customer numbers and behaviour, social distancing, new queuing rules.

The Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) is supporting re-opening businesses.

Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This is undoubtedly good news for many businesses across Lancashire, which have been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. It is crucially important that all guidelines, safety advice and customer behaviour changes are followed to help protect everybody – staff, customers and the general public. Everybody needs to work together during this transition to keep everyone safe and help the business community.”

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire, said: "It can feel as though we're getting back to normal, especially following the Government's announcement earlier this week.

"Coronavirus is still with us and Lancashire's rates of infection are still higher than many other parts of the country.

"There are variations across Lancashire in the current number of coronavirus cases, but wherever you live it's still really important to stay aware of the risk.

"To protect ourselves, as well our family and friends, we still need to follow the guidelines. Wear a face mask on public transport and maintain social distance, and keep washing our hands thoroughly.

"If anyone is showing symptoms, please get tested. If your test comes back positive, the tracers can inform people you've been in close contact with. This helps us to reduce the spread, especially if we aren’t showing symptoms."

Anyone with any concerns over a business or premises which may not be following the new safety guidelines can contact the Environmental Health, Trading Standards or Public Protection contacts in their area of the county.