EAST Lancashire is set to see the strictest tier of restrictions once the four-week national lockdown comes to an end tomorrow.

From midnight on Wednesday, England will return to the "three-tier" local lockdown system with the whole of the county placed in the top tier three on 'very high alert'.

It will mean some of the tighter restrictions that have been imposed over the past month will continue to apply to the Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale.

This includes pubs, restaurants and cafes remaining closed, except for click-and-collect and takeaway.

Professor Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen Council's public health director has urged East Lancashire residents to 'observe the spirit and the letter' of the rules if they wish to see them eased soon.

Tier three also imposes tight rules on who you can meet with households banned from mixing in 'any' indoor setting, and in their gardens and most outdoor spaces.

They can meet in a group of up to six in parks, beaches or countryside

Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can reopen if Covid-secure.

Spectator sports cannot resume while indoor entertainment venues - such as bowling alleys and cinemas - must stay closed

People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas

But when will these restrictions end?

MPs are voting today on the tougher tier system in England, which will see 99 per cent of the country placed in either tier two or tier three.

If (as expected) the move is approved, the first review of tier three in the Lancashire will take place on Wednesday December 16.

It will then be reviewed every seven days and be based on the Covid infection rate, and whether it has continued to fall.

Lancashire local authority leaders would like to see the county split into two parts when the review is carried out.

They hope that the west of the county - Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble, Ribble Valley and West Lancashire - would go into the more relaxed tier two on 'high alert'.

While East Lancashire - Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Pendle and Preston would be more likely to remain in tier three.

Tier two restrictions still ban socialising indoors with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble ,but permit, households meeting in a group of up to six outside including gardens and public places.

Pubs and bars can only open if they serve substantial meals with which they can serve alcohol but must shut at 11pm, with last orders at 10pm.

Outdoor sports can resume with up to 2,000 spectators or 50 per cent capacity (whichever is the smaller) and collective worship, including weddings, can take place under restrictions.

Over Christmas national rules will permit three households to mix indoors with people staying over and lift travel restrictions between December 23 and 27.

Professor Harrison said: "I would urge people to observe both the spirit and the letter of the tier three rules which are slightly less strict than the full national lockdown.

"We need to get infection rates down before Christmas when I expect them to shoot up.

"It is only by following the letter and spirit of the rules that Pennine Lancashire has any hope of getting out of tier three and into tier two in January of February."

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that at the first review of the measures he would move areas down a tier where there is 'robust evidence' that Covid-19 is in sustained decline.