Covid: Warrington restrictions to be tightened as town moves into Tier 3

Warrington's alert level is being upgraded to 'Very High'.

Coronavirus restrictions in the north-western town of Warrington are to be tightened overnight as the town is moved into the 'Very High' Covid-19 alert level.

It will move into Tier 3 Covid restrictions from 00:01 on Tuesday morning, meaning all hospitality venues except those serving food must close.

It means people will be banned from socialising with other households in all indoor settings, any private garden, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.

Covid tiers: - What are the differences between each alert level in England?

  • Medium (Tier 1) - Rule of six applies indoors and outdoors. Pubs and restaurants close at 10pm.

  • High (Tier 2) - Households must not mix indoors in any setting including pubs and restaurants. Rule of six applies outdoors

  • Very high (Tier 3) - Households must not mix indoors, or in private gardens. Rule of six applies in outdoor spaces including parks. Pubs and bars which don't serve meals will be closed

Along with the closure of most pubs and bars, betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also be ordered to close.

Residents are also advised to avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and people from outside the area should avoid should avoid staying there overnight.

To help the area during Tier 3 restrictions the government is providing £4.2m in business support funding and £1.68m to support local contract tracing, the enforcement of restrictions.

Pubs in Warrington - except those serving substantial meals - will be ordered to close from Tuesday. Credit: PA

Warrington's restrictions are being tightened because the town's infection rates are "among the highest in the country and continuing to rise rapidly", said the Department for Health and Social Care.

Case rates are at 361 people per 100,000 among all age groups, while the latest figures for the UK as a whole show the case rate to be 180.6 people per 100,000.

While infection rates were originally higher in the younger population, the virus has been a 20% rise in older members of the population since last week.

For over 60s, the case rate is 217 per 100,000.

The government said it had to "act now" in order to "ensure that the NHS isn’t overwhelmed and has capacity to treat other conditions".

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."

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick thanked local leaders for agreeing to action "that ensures swift action is taken in accordance with public health advice".

He said restrictions will only be in place for "as long as they are absolutely necessary" and a review is due in 28 days.

A statement from the Department for Health warned how even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of Long Covid.

The upgrading of Warrinton's alert level was taken following assessment of data by Mr Hancock, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre, Public Health England, the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office.