THESE are the new restrictions on gatherings of people in the eight Blackburn and seven Pendle wards picked out by the government today.

From midnight on Saturday the tough new rules include:

* a ban on socialising with anyone you don’t live with;

* public transport only to be used for essential travel such as to work or school;

* attendance at major family events, such as weddings and funerals to be restricted to no more than 20 close family and friends;

* limits on religious gatherings to ensure social distancing;

* restaurants to halt walk-in customers, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of six people; and

* local residents not to meer with anyone from outside their household either indoors, in parks or public spaces or their gardens.

There will be an increase in testing and tracing of those who register positive for coronavirus.

The new rules do not prevent people from shopping, going to work or attending child-care settings including schools which open from September 1.

There will be new financial support from the government for those forced to isolate at home under the new restrictions.

Shops and businesses including restaurants and pubs, workplaces and childcare including nurseries will be able to stay open under the new restrictions.

Those which flout Covid-safe regulations and social distancing will face tough enforcement action.

While Blackburn with Darwen's special measures on greeting and embracing and in all enclosed public spaces (including shops, workplaces , libraries, and museums] introduced at the beginning of August will still apply in the borough's eight intervention wards but they will be lifted in the other nine.

Council bosses are currently looking at whether leisure and beauty businesses including gyms and nail bars can now reopen in the areas removed from restrictions.

These ward should now follow national guidance on socialising and going out including the wearing of face coverings in most indoor public spaces, public transport and bus and train stations.