Blackburn with Darwen at risk of local lockdown if people don’t observe rules warning

Following a moderate rise in cornonavirus cases, Blackburn with Darwen Council has warned that local people must remember the importance of sticking to the government’s rules – or risk facing a situation such as in Leicester.

In a statement the council issued:

As cases of Coronavirus show a moderate rise in Blackburn with Darwen, community leaders are working together to remind local people of the importance of sticking to the government’s rules – or risk facing a situation such as in Leicester.

Although lockdown measures are being gradually eased nationally, it is vital that everyone in the borough continues to adhere to social distancing guidelines and maintains good hygiene when outside of their homes.

New Testing Site at Witton Park

To help keep the virus under control in Blackburn with Darwen, a mobile testing site for Coronavirus will be set up in Blackburn from Saturday, 11 July.

Testing will take place in the car park at Witton Park Academy between 11am and 6.30pm every day for the next seven days.

This will be a drive-through testing site and appointments are not needed. The testing unit will be in the main car park at the school.

People will be expected to carry out their swabs themselves, which will then be handed to staff to store safely and send for processing. It is free and is open to all ages.

You will also need to fill your details in for the testing staff to contact you with the results.

Traffic controls will be at the entrance and people will be directed by medical staff to the testing centres.

This temporary site will be in addition to the existing testing facility on Old Bank Lane at Royal Blackburn Hospital, which are still available for residents to use.

The Government has rolled out a full COVID-19 testing programme and you can find out more at

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health, said:

This temporary testing site is open to those in this area of Blackburn and also the wider borough for those who feel they need a test.

Sites like this allow people to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to quarantine with their household or seek treatment if needed.

Whilst we haven’t had the level of outbreak seen in Leicester and other areas, we are aware of our raised rate of confirmed cases according to recent data. We are therefore introducing a range of measures to mitigate risks in a proportionate and phased way – and the mobile testing unit is one of them.

We have also published our outbreak management plan, are stepping up our local prevention work week-on-week with vulnerable settings and are strengthening our communications with key groups. We are working closely with the local NHS to make Pennine Lancashire ‘second wave ready’ and are making plans to increase the availability of local testing for higher risk groups.

My message continues to be: stick to two metres social distancing wherever possible, increase daily handwashing and wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces. For settings such as places of worship, pubs, workplaces and schools, continue to follow the national guidance on making your spaces Covid-safe.

Above all else, we need to work together to keep Blackburn with Darwen a Covid–safe borough. It’s up to us all to stick by the rules and protect each other.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of the Council, added:

We are grateful to the majority of residents who have strictly adhered to the government’s guidance around staying at home as much as possible, and being sensible when they do need to go out.

No one in Blackburn with Darwen wants to find ourselves in a situation like in Leicester. Please continue to do your bit to stick to the rules to protect yourself and your loved ones.

The Council is working with key partners to remind local people of the rules:

  • Stay at home if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands regularly using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Keep 2m distance from people not in your household
  • When meeting others avoid handshakes and embracing
  • Wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces
  • Avoid or limit large extended family gatherings inside
  • Meet outside safely following social distancing rules

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