Tourists flock to Blackpool after it was excluded from new lockdown

So much for the Rule of Six! Hordes of tourists flock to Blackpool after it was excluded from new lockdown rules as crowds hit promenade with little social distancing and traffic comes to standstill

  • New coronavirus restrictions set to come into place in Lancashire on Tuesday
  • But Blackpool, run by a different authority, will not be put under a local lockdown
  • Footage shows hundreds of people enjoying the seaside resort on Saturday

Hundreds of tourists have flocked to Blackpool ahead of a local lockdown that will hit the rest of Lancashire with new coronavirus restrictions.

Video footage from the resort on Saturday showed crowds of people on the promenade.

Visitors reported queues for attractions, gridlocked traffic, little social distancing and few people wearing masks indoors.

Gem Concannon, 36, from Northwich, Cheshire, said she had visited the resort on Saturday with her family.

She said: ‘It was heaving, hardly anyone was wearing masks or social distancing. It was shocking.

‘I’ve never seen it that busy before.’

Extra measures, preventing households from mixing in private homes and meaning pubs and restaurants must shut by 10pm, are due to come into force to tackle rising coronavirus rates in Lancashire on Tuesday.

However Blackpool, which is run by a separate unitary authority, will not be subject to the restrictions.

Visitors reported queues for attractions, gridlocked traffic, and few people sticking to social distancing measures as they enjoyed a warm weekend in Blackpool

The town’s famous Illuminations are on display until January, with the normal run extended for two months to boost tourism, and on Saturday those visiting the seaside also enjoyed sunny weather.

Police had said they were preparing for large crowds in Blackpool over the weekend.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary Terry Woods said: ‘Going to Blackpool, if you’re not from Blackpool, this weekend and mingling in any large crowds, that is not looking after my family and it wouldn’t be looking after your family.

‘What we need to do is focus in on protecting yourself and your family. Make sensible decisions to protect yourselves, going to Blackpool in mass numbers is quite the opposite of protecting yourselves.’

Blackpool, which is run by a separate unitary authority to the rest of Lancashire, will not be subject to the restrictions and has attracted hundreds of tourists this weekend

Infection rates in Blackpool are lower than in some parts of Lancashire but the area has seen an increase in positive cases.

On Friday, Blackpool’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura said: ‘The special measures that have been announced by the Government across large swathes of the north of England over the past 48 hours illustrate that nowhere is immune to this sort of intervention.

‘It is absolutely critical that residents and businesses adhere to the new ‘rule of six’ restrictions and follow all Covid guidelines around social distancing and wearing of face coverings.

‘The same advice goes to those visiting our resort. The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to respect the rules which are there for a reason.’ 

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