SOUTH Lakeland residents could today find out whether new Covid-19 restrictions will be applied to the district.

A key meeting of the county's Health Protection Board today is likely to produce some clarity over the likelihood of such measures being extended to the area.

The Times reported earlier this week that a raft of new local lockdown restrictions are to be enacted across large areas of the north of England.

The North East has already undergone fresh lockdown measures in recent weeks. However, it is unclear whether Cumbria would be included in the targeted areas - despite a recent tightening of restrictions in Barrow.

A total of 13,092 tests for Covid-19 have taken place within Cumbria since March, with the infection rate in Barrow continuing to rise sharply - while South Lakeland sits around the average rate within the context of county-wide transmission levels.

South Lakeland has seen 712 confirmed cases since March and has an infection rate of 677.5.

The county’s public health chief said earlier this week that complications with local testing availability had been ‘easing’, although he said 'problems do remain'.

The greatest number of new positive cases in the county is among those aged 15 to 29 years, with increases also in the 30 to 44 age group.

As a result, Colin Cox, Cumbria's director of public health, has said Government intervention is becoming ‘more likely’ across the county as cases rise.

“The infection rate in Barrow continues to increase and is significantly above other areas of Cumbria,” he said.

“It is however lower than many other areas in the North West that have seen even more significant increases.”

Mr Cox said the growing numbers among older age groups is a ‘concern’, explaining: “Across the whole of the county the majority of new infections are in the younger 15 to19 year old age group but we are now seeing increasing numbers in older age groups too and that is of concern given that vulnerability to COVID-19 increases with age.”

Mr Cox said the ‘strong advice’ directed to Barrovians is that groups of six should come from no more than two different households - advice which could be extended to the South Lakes in upcoming weeks in order to limit transmission of the virus.

“Unlike for the rest of the county, since September 17 in Barrow the strong advice is that groups of six should be limited to people from no more than two households,” he said.

Mr Cox said Public Health England is continuing to monitor the situation, but Number 10's input is ‘becoming more likely’: “We are now heading towards a point where Government intervention is becoming more likely. We are continuing to monitor the situation intently.”