WARRINGTON is one of four new areas set to face tougher COVID-19 restrictions following a recent spike in cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the announcement today (Thursday) and although no official announcement has been made the new rules are set to come into force at 00.01 on Saturday.
Making the announcement he said residents should not socially mix with those from other households – except in outdoor spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality settings.
He also warned against “all but essential travel” – meaning people can still go to work and school.
As well as new laws against social mixing between households he recommended people should not attend semi-professional or amateur sporting events and should not visit care homes other than in exceptional circumstances.
He said £7m funding would be provided to local authorities to support them in their vital work.
“We want the rules to stay in place for as short as time as possible.”
Mr Hancock said the measures are necessary because “in some parts of the country, the virus is spreading fast”.
He said the second spike in COVID-19 cases is “highly localised”, while also claiming recent actions are having a “positive impact”.
“What we’re doing to respond to these awful circumstances is starting to work, so don’t let up,” he said in a Commons statement.
“Let’s all of us keep doing our bit and one day, over this virus, we will prevail.”
The other areas affected are Liverpool city region, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
The latest COVID-19 guidance from Warrington Borough Council
What are the rules and restrictions now in Warrington?
•Public transport should be used for essential purposes only – like going to work or school
•Residents are advised against spectating at amateur/semi-professional sports
•Only 15 people are allowed to attend weddings, civil ceremonies and receptions
•Face coverings must be worn in hospitality settings when not sat at your table, in shops and in taxis (unless you’re exempt on medical grounds)
•Workers who can work from home, should do so
•Hospitality for food and drink must be table service only
•Hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues are required to close between 10pm and 5am
•There can be no mixing of separate households, in one house or private garden (unless you have formed a household support or childcare bubble)
•Mixing of separate households in indoor settings is banned (unless you have formed a household support or childcare bubble), and mixing of separate households outdoors, such as in parks, is also not advised
A household support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household (on an exclusive basis). Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis – always the same two households.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “These restrictions are disappointing for our town, but are, again, a necessary response in helping us to drive down the number of case of coronavirus in Warrington.
“Now more than ever, we need to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus. Getting the basics right – maintaining excellent hand hygiene, keeping your distance, and wearing a cloth face covering where necessary – has never been so important. We genuinely all have a part to play to stop coronavirus from spreading, particularly to our elderly or vulnerable loved ones.
“I’m aware the government has announced a support package for affected councils as part of the announcement of these new restrictions. I await the detail on what this funding could mean, but it’s clear that, as part of these strict new measures, we need to do all we can to support affected businesses – not least our hospitality industry which will, again, be seriously impacted by these new restrictions. We will, therefore, continue to work closely with government and press them for the support our hospitality sector and businesses need during this increasingly difficult period.”