Preston youths urged 'don't kill granny' as city hits lockdown amid spike in cases among under-30s after nightclub fury

Preston youths urged 'don't kill granny' as city hits lockdown amid spike in cases among under-30s after nightclub fury

CHIEFS have warned Preston youngsters "don't kill granny" after the city was plunged into a local lockdown.

The city has been slapped with ramped-up rules in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus after a surge in cases.

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Council leaders have now doubled down on warnings to young people in the area after it emerged half of the fresh infections are people aged under 30.

Chief executive of Preston City Council Adrian Phillips told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I know our director of public health has said 'don't kill granny' to young people to try and focus the message.

"Young people are inevitably among the brave and the bold, they want to be adventurous and out and about but we know that they have the virus, are more likely to at the moment, they often have less symptoms but they do take it back to their household and the community spread we are seeing we believe in many cases are young people taking it home and catching the virus."

Local youngsters previously sparked fury after a nightclub became the first to re-open in Britain during the coronavirus crisis.

Switch threw open its doors to allow hundreds of revellers to let loose for £200-a-head.

Worrying footage showed boozers stood shoulder to shoulder on the busy dancefloor.

But the move sparked fury as it came when Preston first appeared on the Government's watch list, which looks at infection rates in areas of concern.

The council is now backing the Local Government Association's calls for councils to have greater powers to close pubs to slow down the spread.

Preston locals are now unable to meet one another inside homes, private gardens or any other indoor areas.

But people are still able to meet others in groups up to 6 individuals, or 2 households, in outdoor public places.

And pubs will remain open – but only those who live together can enjoy a pint.

This is despite Director of Public Health for Lancashire, Sakthi Karunanithi, partially blaming boozers for the surge in cases.

He said: "I want to pay extra attention to indoor spaces, particularly pubs, where high numbers of people are mixing between households.

"That's a worrying pattern that we really must avoid."

Preston yesterday followed in the footsteps of nearby East Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire, which have all seen strict rules imposed on them.

Covid-19 infections have more than doubled in the city in the week to July 31 from 22 to 49 – almost 35 cases per 100,000 population.

And the worrying number is the second-biggest increase behind Blackburn with Darwen, which recorded 119 new cases.

Alarmingly, a staggering 18 cases were recorded in one day alone.

Pendle in Lancashire has become England’s joint coronavirus hotspot with Blackburn after cases almost doubled in a week.

The borough now has a rate of 78.2 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people for the past seven days up to August 4.

A total of 72 new cases have been recorded.

That puts it on the same rate as Blackburn with Darwen, where infection rates have fallen recently but still remain high.



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