CLINICALLY vulnerable patients across in Blackburn with Darwen currently on the 'Shielded Patient List' have been advised to continue to stay at home.

They are receiving letters letters and text messages by the government to advise them not to risk venturing out until August 17 at the earliest while the recent spike in coronavirus infections in the borough is contained.

Professor Dominic Harrison, director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "The measures we have introduced are making an impact and we are headed in the right direction but we are continuing to analyse the data and will do every thing necessary to stem the rising tide and protect our most vulnerable residents.

"I appreciate this will not be welcome news for people who have been shielding and were looking forward to start getting back to some semblance of normality. It's frustrating but I hope those affected will understand that it's important to follow the advice as it is there to help protect themselves."

Dr Mark Dziobon, medical director at Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Unfortunately because the virus levels remain high in Blackburn with Darwen, the government is advising that the shielding guidance is not relaxed in this area on August 1 as it is in the rest of the country."