CRUNCH talks will continue today as leaders from across Lancashire meet with the Government to discuss moving the county into tier-three of the Prime Minister’s new lockdown system.

On Monday, the whole of the county was place under tier-two following an official announcement from Westminster and the unveiling of a new lockdown system.

Liverpool was placed within the highest alert category – tier three – with everywhere else in the country moving into tiers one and two.

However since the placing of Lancashire in tier two, MPs and local Government leaders in the borough have said the county could be moved into tier three by the end of the week, as coronavirus cases and infection rates continue to rise.

This would mean the closure of pubs, bars, gyms and casinos with travel restrictions in place.

Speaking on Monday, Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan said: "At the present moment the borough and the rest of Lancashire are in tier two which means a slight easing of restrictions on households meeting outdoors in the wards under the tightest restrictions.

"There will be a meeting of Lancashire council leaders tomorrow morning (Tuesday) before further discussions with government advisers later as a result of which Pennine Lancashire could be moved into tier three.

"The current restrictions which have been in place since August have not been working as the coronavirus infection rate has continue to go up. We are concerned that Lancashire should be treated all together and that the level of support offered to business such as pubs and bars if more restrictions in tier three are not sufficient.

"If these issues can be resolved, I would be happy to see Lancashire moved into tier three."

Rossendale and Darwen Conservative MP Jake Berry said: "It is good news that East Lancashire is in tier two but we were on the cusp of going into tier three. If people do not observe the rules of tier two then we will be going into the higher level. We are very close to the edge."

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