New emergency measures have been announced for residents in Blackburn and Darwen to prevent a coronavirus local lockdown.

The council in Lancashire said only two people are now allowed to visit another person at home and face coverings should be worn in public with immediate effect.

It has also urged anyone to get tested for COVID-19 – even if they have no symptoms.

The Lancashire authority’s director of public health Dominic Harrison called for people only to bump elbows with anyone outside of their immediate family, instead of shaking hands or hugging.

And he said public protection advice for small shops was being stepped up to ensure measures including social distancing and increased ventilation were being followed.

Blackburn had 47 cases of the virus per 100,000 people in the seven days to 11 July, up from 31.6 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to 4 July, the latest figures show.

It is third on the list of highest weekly rates, behind Leicester, which has a rate of 118.2 cases per 100,000 and is subject to a local lockdown, and nearby Pendle, with a rate of 76.6.

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