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Warrington to enter Tier 3 restrictions from Tuesday
26 October 2020, 15:28 | Updated: 26 October 2020, 21:11
Warrington is to move into Tier 3 restrictions from Tuesday meaning pubs and bars will close and household mixing will be banned.
The Cheshire town will move from Covid Alert Level High to Very High - the highest restriction level - from 00:01am on Tuesday following a continued rise in coronavirus cases.
It means pubs and bars will close unless they can operate as a restaurant and people are largely banned from mixing with anybody outside their household or support bubble.
Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also close and the measures will be in place for at least 28 days.
The council will receive a financial support package of £1.68 million to help contact tracing and enforcement as well as £4.2 million in business support from the Government.
In Warrington, infection rates are among the highest in the country and continuing to rise rapidly, with cases standing at 361 people per 100,000 among all age groups.
Although infection rates were originally higher in the younger population, the town is now seeing rises in its older population with case rates at 217 per 100,000 for over 60s, which is a 20 per cent rise on the previous week.
The move will see roughly 200,000 people join Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire - which saw fresh restrictions imposed on the weekend - in Tier 3.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Infection rates are rising in Warrington, and we have agreed with local leaders that it's time to take action.
"I know that these new measures will mean sacrifices must be made by the people in Warrington, and I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of them for recognising the severity of the situation and sticking to the rules.
"We have agreed a support package designed to help businesses while boosting efforts to control the virus locally, and will not hesitate to take similar action in any area of the country if infection rates continue to rise. Please remember - now is the time for us all to work together to get this virus under control.
"Please remember - now is the time for us all to work together to get this virus under control."
The new measures also mean people must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting, in any private garden, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.
People must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space, such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue.
All pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals, and any alcohol must only be served alongside such a meal.
Individuals should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey.
Residents should also avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the very high alert area.
To support the local community during the restrictions, the government will provide a financial support package of £1.68m as well as £4.2m in business support funding - this will support local contract tracing, the enforcement of restrictions, and the provision of further local-level data.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I thank local leaders in Warrington for the productive discussions we have had to help get the virus under control in the area as quickly as possible.
“I’m pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that ensures swift action is taken in accordance with public health advice. I recognise the huge impact this will have on the area and sacrifices that will need to be made. That’s why we have agreed an extensive package of support for local people, businesses and the council.
“The restrictions we have agreed together will only be in place for as long as they are absolutely necessary. They will be reviewed jointly in 28 days’ time.
“The government is working closely with local leaders as we tackle this challenge together, for the benefit of all the people of Warrington.”