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Warrington’s MPs welcome road map out of lockdown

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WARRINGTON’S two MPs have welcomed Boris Johnson’s four steps to easing England’s lockdown, with the hope the majority of restrictions can be lifted by June 21.

But the four steps out of lockdown will be dependent on cases, deaths and hospital admissions continuing to fall, so the dates are the earliest any of the stated rules could be lifted.
There will be no regional tier systems put in place with England treated as one in the easing of lockdown.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon was an incredibly important moment for the country and for our community in Warrington.
“The amazing NHS vaccination programme, combined with the sacrifices made by residents staying at home, have allowed the process of cautious re-opening to begin.
“It is right that school reopenings are being prioritised but this must be done safely, including by implementing a ventilation and filtration programme for public buildings.
“While the roadmap outlined will enable sectors across the economy to begin plans for reopening with provisional dates to work towards, their continued closure underlines the urgency of the economic support required.
“With the hospitality and leisure industries not able to re-open until April 12th at the earliest, in next week’s Budget the Chancellor must step up and provide them with the sectoral financial support they desperately need, so that when this is over we will still have our brilliant pubs, gyms and restaurants to go to.”
Meanwhile Warrington South MP Andy Carter said:”I welcome the road map set out by the PM earlier this afternoon, it’s quite rightly cautious and gives a sensible pathway to easing restrictions with the aim of having all legal restrictions lifted by the middle of June.
“Getting all children back to school remains a national priority and two weeks today all students will be back in the classroom, that’s good from an educational perspective, from a mental health perspective and a parenting perspective, allowing mums and dads to focus on returning to work.
“Over 50,000 people have now been vaccinated in Warrington, the overwhelming majority of the first 4 categories and over the next four weeks that process of protecting the most vulnerable will continue meaning the phased reopening of non-essential retail and hospitality can then begin April and May.
“In conversations with the Chancellor I’ve raised the need to continue to support those sectors of the economy most impacted including aviation and hospitality. I look forward to the budget next week where further support can be confirmed.
“Whilst this is a significant moment, we now have a route map, we must all still remain vigilant as we continue to vaccinate priority groups, now isn’t the time to ease back on
“social distancing and wearing a face mask remains important indoors. The lockdown remains in place until the end of March and local hospital is still under significant pressure, only now recovering to the levels we saw in the April peak last year

Step One: 8 March and 29 March
8 March
• All schools and colleges in England to reopen, while all childcare can resume
• Secondary school pupils to wear facemasks initially while staff in all schools are advised to wear masks.
• All secondary and college pupils will be tested twice a week, at school for the first two weeks then at home
• All households with school children, members of their support and childcare bubbles, and those in related occupations will be encouraged to be tested regularly
• One person will be able to meet one other person from another household outside for recreation, not just exercise
• This includes meeting in private gardens and will mean two people can meet for a picnic or sit on a bench with a coffee but they cannot play tennis or golf
• Care home residents will be allowed one named visitor.
29 March
• Up to six people from different households or a larger group from two households can meet outside, including in private gardens
• Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and organised outdoor sports can take place for children and adults
• From this point, the government will drop the “Stay at Home” message and will instead encourage people to stay local wherever they can
• People will still have to work from home where possible and no overseas travel, apart from necessary work, will be allowed.

Step Two: 12 April
• Non-essential retail, including hairdressers and beauty salons, can reopen
• Libraries, museums, zoos, theme parks and gyms can open – but no indoor mixing of different households allowed
• Outdoor hospitality can reopen, including pubs and restaurants – with the rule of six or a larger group from two households
• Customers will not have to buy a substantial meal to have an alcoholic drink and there will be no curfew but people will have to be seated when ordering and eating or drinking
• Self-catering holidays in the UK with your own household will be allowed
• Funerals of up to 30 people, wakes of up to 15 people.

Step Three: 17 May
• Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 will be illegal
• Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households will be allowed
• Indoor hospitality – pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, children play areas, hotels, B&Bs, indoor exercise classes – will be allowed
• Advice on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, will be updated no later than 17 May
• Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people will be allowed
• Outdoor large performances and sporting events will have a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or must only be half full, whichever is lower
• Bigger sports stadiums will be allowed 10,000 people or can only be a quarter full, whichever is lower
• Testing will be used to support these openings
• Weddings, wedding receptions, wakes, funerals and christenings will be allowed with 30 people.

Step Four: 21 June
• All legal limits on social contact removed
• Government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large events such as festivals
• Testing could be used as a condition of entry
• Ministers hope to remove restrictions on weddings

Yet to be decided
There are a few rules and issues that have not yet been agreed and will be subject to review during the easing of lockdown.

To find out more about COVID-19 testing, and to book a test if you have symptoms, visit warrington.gov.uk/get-tested-coronavirus
For the latest COVID-19 guidance for Warrington visit https://www.warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus-latest-guidance

Seven more deaths and 54 new COVID-19 cases in Warrington

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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