Will Cumbria be part of the new northern England Covid restrictions?

Credit: PA / ITV News

Cumbria's director of public health has told ITV Border that he does not expect the Government to order pubs and restaurants across the county to close. 

Government ministers are weighing up new measures, according to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, and could come as early as Monday, as infection rates soar in cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.

But the Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, told ITV Border that this does not include Cumbria. He said: "At this stage, we have no received any indication that Cumbria as a whole will be part of the northern lockdown.

"Obviously, there is still discussions happening at ministerial level so we will wait to see what comes out of that.

"There are parts of Cumbria that are a half to a third the rate of infection of the national average, so it's quite difficult to make the case for that and for the public to accept the case for broader lockdown at that stage.

"But clearly as numbers continue to rise those sort of discussions will be happening over the coming weeks."

New figures released today show the number of people who have tested positive in Cumbria is continuing to rise.

According to the county council, 366 new COVID-19 cases were reported in week ending 2 October, up from 227 the previous week. Latest data for the current week, which is subject to revision, shows the upward trend continuing.

All but one area of the county has had a rise in cases, with Barrow seeing the most significant increase for the fifth week in a row.

This has prompted local authority leaders to request stricter ‘lockdown’ measures to be imposed by the Government like areas such as the North East and Merseyside. A decision from is awaited.

The rate of infection stands at around 80 per 100,000 people. The figures vary substantially from 30-35 in Eden, up to 200 in Barrow.

  • Robert Peston explains new restrictions which could come into force in northern England

Mr Cox said: “The steps we’ve taken in relation to Barrow reflect the deep concern about the situation and the collective determination to get on top of it and avoid even stricter measures.

“We’re monitoring the rest of the county closely and are inevitably considering if and when it might be necessary to take further action to slow the spread.

"The best thing that people can do to avoid that scenario is follow the public health advice – limit your social contact, cover your face, wash your hands and be responsible. We all have a role to play in protecting each other.”