EAST Lancashire residents have been warned to follow the government’ s ‘Rule of Six’ to avoid tighter controls on social gatherings to combat coronavirus.

A government review of the rules last week left them unchanged with eight wards in Blackburn and seven in Nelson and Brierfield under stricter regulations banning any contact between households.

Lancashire’s public health director Dr Sakthi Karunanithi said: “No-one is safe until it is safe for all.”

Denise Park, chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “The threat of further restrictions for the whole borough is very real. We all need to take action right now to help prevent that.

“We know people are fed up. The stark reality of this is that we are at risk of reverting to where we were at the start of this pandemic.”

Lancashire’s deputy chief constable Terry Woods said: “With the very small number of people who flout the rules, we will move straight to enforcement and fines. We will not be issuing warnings and will have dedicated patrols for Covid issues.”

Pendle council deputy leader Cllr David Whipp said: “It’s a blow for everyone that there aren’t any relaxations in the restrictions.”