FIVE Cheshire and Merseyside councils are urging residents to remain close to home and only visit neighbouring boroughs in essential circumstances.

Leaders of Warrington, Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Wirral councils have said that people should only travel outside of their borough and into nearby areas for work, education or health purposes.

Currently, Halton and Wirral council areas are under ‘very high’ coronavirus restrictions, while Warrington, Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East council areas are classed as being in the ‘high’ tier.

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With pubs being closed in Halton and Wirral as part of the restrictions while at the same time remaining open in the other areas, council leaders in all five boroughs are now calling on residents to help stop the spread of the virus by avoiding traveling out of their local areas.

Cllr Russ Bowden, leader of Warrington Borough Council, said: “Please continue to follow the guidance on non-essential travel.

“We all have to do our bit to bring the number of positive cases down across the region, and one of the best ways people can play their part is by ‘doing the right thing’.

“That means in this case that although it is not against the law to travel to other areas, I would recommend that you travel for absolutely essential reasons only, like going to work – if you can’t work from home – for education or to provide care.”

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Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill added: “The Government imposed the ‘very high’ Covid alert level on Halton when they announced their new three-tier system.

“This was because of the rapid rise of cases, the wide spread of the virus within our community and the worrying increase in hospital admissions.

“We do not want to have to stay living under these ‘very high’ level restrictions for any longer than we have to.

“So we must now all look after each other and do the right thing – which means staying close to home unless travelling to work, school, college or medical appointments, limiting as much as we can our contact with other people everywhere else and abiding by the restrictions that have been put in place.

 “I understand how difficult this is and none of us want our movements curtailed in this way, but it is the only way we will get back to enjoying all that our region has to offer.

“We all need to stay strong to keep each other safe.”