WARRINGTON will move into the highest level of lockdown restrictions on midnight Monday.

High levels of infection and a rising number of patients in Warrington Hospital saw the council agree a deal with Government on Friday to move from tier 2 to tier 3 - 'very high risk'.

It was expected the new rules would be introduced at 00.01am on Thursday.

But following more talks this morning, Saturday, that has been brought forward 48 hours to 00.01am on Tuesday.

The new rules will mean from Tuesday morning:

  • You must not socialise with anybody you don’t live with, unless you have formed a household or childcare support bubble, in any indoor setting or venue – including homes or restaurants
  • You must not socialise with anybody you don’t live with, unless you have formed a household or childcare support bubble, in any private garden, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space, like parks
  • Pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals as a restaurant, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, must close
  • You should avoid travelling outside Warrington wherever possible – only essential journeys, such as for work or caring responsibilities, should be made
  • You should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK

Leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, beauticians, hairdressers and trampoline centres will remain open, subject to them being Covid-secure.

In line with other areas in the north  west however, betting offices, soft play centres and casinos are to close.

A package of almost £5milion has been agreed between the council and government.

Leader of the Council Russ Bowden, explained: “The decision for Warrington to enter tier 3 on Tuesday is the necessary and proportionate thing to do.

"We know that our case numbers in Warrington remain stubbornly high, but what is more concerning is the number of admissions into hospital.

"The upsetting and grim reality is that there are more people in hospital, more people in intensive care beds and more people being taken by the virus, and we need to do all we can to try to bring this under control.

“Moving into tier 3 is one of many important steps we need to take as a town to try and reduce transmission of the virus.

"Please keep doing all you can to play your part: wash your hands, keep your distance from others not in your household, wear a cloth face covering and if you have any symptoms, however mild, self-isolate and get tested immediately. We need to act together, and now, to protect our elderly and vulnerable loved ones, and to support our hospital and their staff who are doing a tremendous job.”

In the past three days, 15 people have died in Warrington Hospital with coronavirus.

The trust is currently caring for more than 100 Covid-19 patients in Warrington.

Professor Simon Constable, hospital chief executive, said: "It is possible that our figures have stabilised but it is too early to tell; we are still very close to the April peak of wave 1 but in a very different operational climate to back then. For instance, emergency attendances are about normal for this time of year - they were significantly reduced in the Spring.

"We have commenced routine Covid-19 asymptomatic staff testing, joining 10 other north west trusts in a 10-day pilot study of all front line staff. This is part of a wider NHS England project to strengthen our efforts to prevent and control the spread of infection, and is a key step in supporting our staff and protecting our patients.  This is in addition to our in-house symptomatic staff testing offer. 

"As always, I remain indebted to our 4,500 staff who continue to deliver such compassionate, excellent patient and colleague care in these most challenging of times.”