RESIDENTS across Warrington are waking up this morning, Tuesday, to a new set of coronavirus instructions.

Warrington is now in tier 3 or very high risk following continued high rates of new cases of Covid-19 and a high number of deaths in Warrington Hospital.

So what are the new restrictions:

  • 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
  • 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

What will close?

As well as pubs not serving meals, betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will be forced to close

How long for?

The new measures will be in place for 28 days.

Although it is not clear which trigger points could move an area out of one tier and into another, health secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday areas would have to prove that their infection rate was "coming down", especially among those aged 60 or over, before they could be removed from the strictest measures.

Warrington Guardian:

He has also refused to rule out bringing in a tougher set of Tier 4 impositions following reports another level is being considered to tackle England's rise in infections.

What are the figures like in Warrington?

As of Monday, Warrington Hospital was caring for 117 patients from Warrington and Halton. Sixteen of those patients are in intensive care on mechanical ventilation - that is close to ICU capacity.

Sadly eight more patients died with Covid-19 over the weekend. 

At the height of the pandemic in April, the hospital had 122 patients.

All of the patients with Covid-19 are in Warrington Hospital as bosses keep Halton open for non-Covid work.

As of Monday, currently case rates in Warrington are at 398 people per 100,000 among all age groups.

More than 800 people have tested positive in the past week.

Although infection rates were originally higher in the younger population, rises in the older population are now being reported with case rates at 217 per 100,000 for over 60s, which is a 20 per cent rise on the previous week.

Why has Warrington moved now?

Talks to move into tier 3 started with Government last week. It was initially agreed the moved would happen on Thursday, but further discussions over the weekend saw that moved to today.

Council bosses say it was driven by the need to stop the rising number of cases in Warrington Hospital.

Cllr Russ Bowden said: “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.

Warrington Guardian: Warrington Hospital

“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.”

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. Please remember - now is the time for us all to work together to get this virus under control.”

Warrington Guardian: Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries during the latest press conference

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I thank local leaders in Warrington for the productive discussions we have had to help get the virus under control in the area as quickly as possible.

“I’m pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that ensures swift action is taken in accordance with public health advice. I recognise the huge impact this will have on the area and sacrifices that will need to be made. That’s why we have agreed an extensive package of support for local people, businesses and the council.

“The restrictions we have agreed together will only be in place for as long as they are absolutely necessary. They will be reviewed jointly in 28 days’ time.

“The Government is working with closely with local leaders as we tackle this challenge together, for the benefit of all the people of Warrington.”

What help is at hand?

As part of the deal to move into tier 3, Warrington Borough Council will get £5.9 million from government.

£1.68 million has been allocated to public health – including public protection, testing and enforcement – with a further £4.2 million to be used for business and employment support.

Where else is in tier 3?

Over the weekend, South Yorkshire became the latest region to come under the highest tier of controls following Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Nottinghamshire is likely to join on Wednesday