WARRINGTON moved into tier three of the coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday following a surge in cases.

Residents across the town are being urged to play their part in the battle against Covid-19 with cases remaining ‘stubbornly high’.

But how did we get here?

First UK case

Covid-19 first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, with the first confirmed case in the UK coming on January 29 when two Chinese nationals fell ill at a hotel in York.

Fears were mounting as the number of cases in the UK reached 20 on February 28, with the first death in the UK confirmed on March 5.

First Warrington case

The first case of Covid-19 in Warrington was reported on March 11 when a resident tested positive after returning from a trip to Italy.

The first coronavirus-related death in the town was tragically confirmed in March after a 59-year-old man, who had tested positive for Covid-19, died in Warrington Hospital on March 19.

Warrington Guardian:

UK lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK lockdown on March 23.

The tightest restrictions were in place for some time before being gradually relaxed.

And hundreds of Warrington businesses were boosted after being allowed to reopen in early July as the town’s hospitality industry started to rebuild following the damage caused amid the pandemic.

Mr Johnson delivered a massive boost to the sector after announcing pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants could reopen on July 4 in a major relaxation of the lockdown.

Strict measures

But strict new measures for Warrington were announced in September in response to a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the borough.

Warrington was part of a wider area – alongside the six Merseyside authorities – where additional restrictions were being introduced.

Warrington Guardian:

It meant that, from September 22, there could be no mixing of separate households in one house or private garden.

Hospitality for food and drink could be table service only, along with a late-night restriction of operating hours for hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues.

Tougher measures

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced tougher measures for Warrington to curb the spread of the virus on October 1.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he confirmed he was extending the measures introduced in the North East to the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough

‘High risk’

Warrington was confirmed as being a ‘high risk’ area in the new national three-level coronavirus alert system on October 12.

The new levels were set at medium, high and very high.

Warrington was given a ‘high’ alert level, which placed it in the second tier.

Warrington Guardian:

Tier three

However, the tier three restrictions for the town were introduced at 00.01am on Tuesday this week after it was given a ‘very high’ Covid alert level.

The current rules mean people in the borough must not socialise with anybody they don’t live with – unless they have formed a household or childcare support bubble – in any indoor setting or venue, including homes or restaurants.

Furthermore, residents must not socialise with anybody they don’t live with, unless they have the same exemption, in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.

Meanwhile, under the new rules, pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals as a restaurant, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, must close.

And betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres must shut under the tier three rules.

Hospital pressures

At the start of this week, council chief executive Steven Broomhead MBE said, as of Monday, Warrington Hospital was at 98 per cent capacity.

Furthermore, council leader Cllr Russ Bowden pointed people ‘denying’ coronavirus is a problem to the town’s stark statistics.