Strict new measures in Warrington have been announced, in response to the sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the borough.
The move follows local case numbers exceeding 200 in the most recent verified seven-day period.
Warrington is part of a wider area – alongside the six Merseyside authorities – where additional restrictions are being introduced.
From Tuesday 22 September, the new regulations in Warrington mean:
- No mixing of separate households in one house or private garden. This supports guidance already given by the council to Warrington residents, earlier this week.
- Hospitality for food and drink will be table service only.
- Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm and 5am.
In addition to this, the guidance has been updated to:
- Use of public transport for essential purposes only
- No spectators at amateur/semi-professional sport
The new government measures – which will be reviewed with the council on an ongoing basis – support the council’s ongoing work to contain the transmission of coronavirus, and to help drive down the number of cases in Warrington.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We have been working closely with the government over the large increase of coronavirus cases in Warrington in recent weeks, and we welcome these new restrictions – in Warrington and the wider region – which are absolutely necessary if we are to drive down infection numbers.
“We have already taken strong steps this week, urging our residents not to visit other households. These new measures will strengthen this work.
“We recognise the impact these new restrictions will have on our hospitality sector. We will continue to work closely with the government and will press them for extra support for the hospitality sector during this period.
“I am urging local people to help us by not seeking to take advantage of ‘one more big night out’ this weekend. Although the new restrictions don’t come into force until Tuesday, please support our efforts to drive down Warrington’s coronavirus rates, by staying in or enjoying a night out responsibly and returning home for 10pm this weekend.”
The new restrictions are in addition to the nationwide six person limit on social gatherings that came into force on Monday 14 September 2020. The ‘rule of six’ remains in place across the country and sits alongside these additional restrictions in Warrington.
The council and police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices.
Warrington’s Director of Public Health, Thara Raj, said: “These restrictions, although disappointing for our borough, are a proportionate and necessary response in helping to drive down the number of coronavirus cases.
“As well as these additional measures, please remember the importance of washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance, wearing a cloth face covering where necessary and getting a test if you have symptoms.
“We would urge everyone to help us by following the restrictions, so we can reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading now. The sooner our infection rates come down, the sooner we can have restrictions lifted. We all have a very important part to play in these efforts.”