THE ‘special measures’ Blackburn with Darwen residents are urged to observe for the next month are:

• HOUSEHOLD MEETINGS RESTRICTIONS: national guidance allows two families or households to meet in one household as long as they keep to social distancing guidance inside the house. We are now asking residents to limit the numbers meeting to one household plus only two members from a second household at any one time in a two household gathering;

• CLOTH FACE COVERINGS: all residents to wear cloth face covering (or non-surgical masks) in all enclosed public spaces including shops, workplaces , libraries, museums etc in advance of the government making them mandatory in shops from on July 24 with a fine of up to £100 for flouting the new rule;

• GREETING AND EMBRACING: no handshakes, hugs or cuddles for a month outside of the immediate family in one household: elbow bumps only;

• SMALL SHOPS REVIEW: step up public protection advice and support to small shops across the borough (but particularly in BAME communities) to ensure face mask wearing, social distancing , hygiene measures, increased ventilation and other measures to reduce risk of virus spread in smaller shops; and

• TESTING: urge everyone at risk to be tested regardless of symptoms with targeted testing and case finding in areas of higher Covid-19.

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The council will increase communications and community engagement, targeted messaging on the key risks to specific communities, and support for ‘Covid-Safe’ shops and venues.