THERE is no desire for Warrington to move into the highest tier in the government's new lockdown rules.

They came in this morning and put Warrington in the second highest category of coronavirus restrictions.

Liverpool and five neighbouring authorities are the only areas in the highest category – closing pubs, gyms and casinos.

But on the day the new rules have come into force, Government health officials are expected to discuss with councillors in Greater Manchester and Lancashire whether to classify the areas as 'very high'.

But Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said that the tier 3 restrictions are 'fundamentally flawed' and 'we won't accept it'.

Warrington Borough Council chief executive Steven Broomhead says the council has not been contacted by government – and would not welcome any changes.

He added: "Out intention is to stay in tier two and there has been no contact yet."

There are fears that should Manchester be moved to tier three, Warrington would become and 'island' of tier two, sandwiched between the two big city neighbours, with the risks that would involve.

Meanwhile the council, along with all local authorities, has been sent a letter from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) saying patients with positive Covid-19 tests must be discharged into an 'appropriate designated setting'.

The department is looking for 500 venues across the country which could take patients with coronavirus from hospitals to stop them moving into care homes – a practice which resulted in a large number of deaths in the spring.

These venues must be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure they meet the regulator's infection control standards.

Mr Broomhead said: "We are not going to repeat the problems of March and April. I understand the pressure on hospitals but people should not be leaving until they have had a negative test.

"Any facility would need a CQC inspection and the government wants a response by Friday. These are frankly ridiculous timescales."