WARRINGTON’S director of public health is urging residents to follow the rules and remember the basics as the town centre continues to spring back to life.

England enters step three of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown on Monday, meaning indoor hospitality, entertainment and attractions, and organised indoor sport will be able to reopen.

People will once again be able to sit inside pubs, bars and restaurants, enjoy a film at the cinema, and visit leisure and entertainment venues such as play centres and trampoline parks.

Up to six people or two households can meet indoors and up to 30 people can also meet outdoors, while close personal contact such as hugging with friends and family will also be allowed.

Close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading Covid-19 however, and people must consider the risk to themselves and to others to make informed, personal decisions.

To reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus and passing it on to others, health director Thara Raj as asking people to remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ when out and about.

Warrington Guardian: Thara Raj, Warrington's director of public healthThara Raj, Warrington's director of public health

When indoors, you should take extra precautions by keeping areas well ventilated and maintaining social distancing.

Residents should also get regular symptom-free Covid tests to ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus as they venture out of the house and start socialising more.

Lateral flow tests are available to all residents and can be ordered online, collected from participating pharmacies or taken at one of the town’s many testing sites.

“It has been fantastic to see Warrington town centre alive with vibrant activity once more in recent weeks,” Thara said.

“We have worked closely with our businesses and other partners to ensure visitors can experience a safe and enjoyable return to shops and hospitality venues.

“Throughout this most challenging of periods, our business community has remained positive and adaptable.

“This has been hugely important in ensuring public safety while celebrating all the fantastic things our town centre has to offer.

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“Equally important has been the support of the public, and as we head towards the next step of the roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May – when indoor hospitality and entertainment venues can re-open – your continued support is vital.

“Please continue to follow the rules and take responsibility for your safety and the safety of others.

“It is also really important that you get your coronavirus vaccination when invited and getting regular symptom-free testing can keep the number of coronavirus cases down.”

Other changes from Monday will see up to 30 people being able to attend weddings and receptions, funerals and wakes, and other significant life events such as christenings and bar mitzvahs.

Indoor accommodation such as hotels and hostels can reopen, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes can go ahead.

Some larger performances and sporting events will also be permitted to take place in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full.