WARRINGTON residents should remain at home to ensure the hard work put in to keep coronavirus at bay is not undone.

This is the message from Warrington Borough Council following the Government’s roadmap signposting how the current lockdown will end.

The first step will commence from March 8, when all schools and colleges will reopen and outdoor school activities and sports will be permitted.

Outdoor meetings between two people will be also allowed, given social distancing is in force, and care home residents van receive one regular visitor.

Weddings and wakes for six people and funerals for 30 people will be permitted, but apart from these exceptions, the stay at home order remains in place.

While welcoming the roadmap, the council is urging residents to follow the stay at home message to keep coronavirus cases in the town low.

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden said: “The roadmap out of lockdown is clear, but please remain cautious as the dates could change if the data suggests that we are in a declining position.

Warrington Guardian: Cllr Russ Bowden, leader of Warrington Borough CouncilCllr Russ Bowden, leader of Warrington Borough Council

“We cannot afford to endanger all of the hard work and sacrifices our communities have made for the best part of a year, so for now, please stick to the rules and stay at home.

“We have continued to show as a town how resilient we are in the face of adversity, and I know we will keep doing all we can to follow the rules in place.

“Every day we stay at home is another day closer to things getting back to normal, and I am very grateful for the efforts of our residents to bring coronavirus rates in Warrington down.

“If we follow the current restrictions, get tested if we have any coronavirus symptoms and take up the vaccine when offered it, there is no reason why we won’t be able to see the restrictions ease over the coming months ahead.”

The second step of the roadmap will begin on March 29 with the return of the ‘rule of six’, while two households will be allowed to meet socially distanced outdoors.

This includes in private gardens, but no indoor mixing will be allowed. Outdoor sport and leisure such as tennis and golf can also resume.

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From April 12, non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons, public buildings, gyms, self-contained holiday accommodation, campsites and outdoor settings are expected to reopen.

Among these venues are outdoor hospitality businesses and pub beer gardens, zoos and theme parks.

Weddings, receptions and wakes for up to 15 guests and funerals for 30 guests are also expected to be permitted.

From May 17, most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted, although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.

The rule of six or two households will apply for gatherings indoors but will be kept under review.

Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen with Covid-secure guidance in place.

Indoor hospitality will reopen, but venues must continue table service, as will other indoor locations including entertainment venues and hotels.

Warrington Guardian:

Up to 30 people will be allowed at most significant life events including weddings, receptions and wakes.

The final step, no earlier than June 21, will hopefully see all restrictions on social contact lifted following a national review.

The dates for restrictions being eased are predicated on passing four key tests at each stage, and are therefore not confirmed with absolutely certainty.

The four tests are that the vaccine programme continues to be successfully deployed, the vaccine remains effective against the virus, infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations or put unsustainable pressure on the NHS, and a national assessment of the risks does not worsen.