AS of today, Monday, Warrington and the rest of England have moved to the final stage of the roadmap out of the Covid lockdown.

Legal limits on social distancing have been removed, meaning you can now meet as many people as you like.

Although face coverings are no longer required by law, the Government says it still ‘expects and recommends’ them in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Nightclubs can now reopen and pubs and restaurants are no longer required to operate table-service only.

As restrictions are lifted, we take a look at the current coronavirus situation in Warrington.

How many new cases are being recorded in the town each week?

More than 900 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Warrington in the space of a week, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

In the seven days before July 11, which is the most recent period for which data is available, a total of 951 new Covid-19 cases were detected in the town.

This equates to 452.8 infections for every 100,000 residents – the 56th highest case rate in the country.

By comparison, in the week leading up to July 4 there were 765 transmissions – or 364.3 per 100,000.

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Warrington was one of 288 local authority areas in England to experience a rise in cases between these dates, while 27 saw a fall.

Is Warrington Hospital coping in terms of patient numbers?

The number of patients being cared for at Warrington Hospital for coronavirus remains steady.

This is according to the latest update released by Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on Friday.

That afternoon, the Lovely Lane site was providing care to 22 people that have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 14 days or less.

Of this number, four were in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The previous day, the total number of patients was also 22, of which five were in ICU.

Since the start of the pandemic, 2,065 patients had been discharged from the hospital after recovering from coronavirus.

No new Covid deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours, meaning the trust’s death toll remained at 503.

What is the Covid situation in schools?

A rise in coronavirus cases in the town has meant that pupils are being forced to self-isolate, missing their last few days of term.

Warrington Guardian: Warrington HospitalWarrington Hospital

As of Thursday, data issued by Warrington Borough Council confirmed that the number of pre-schools and schools with Covid-19 cases was 65.

The number of pupils self-isolating in Warrington was 2910.

Most of these children will not return to school now until September, while others may be back in for just a few days.

Is Warrington’s vaccine programme still progressing well?

More than two-thirds of Warrington residents have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, latest figures reveal.

NHS data shows 117,281 people had received both jabs by July 11, covering 69 per cent of those in the town aged 16 and over.

Meanwhile, 147,058 people in Warrington have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 87 per cent of the population aged 16 and over.

It means that in total, 264,339 jabs have been administered in the town since the vaccination programme began in December.

NHS vaccine data also reveals variation in coverage for residents who are fully vaccinated between different areas across Warrington.

The area with the highest coverage is Appleton, with 85.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and over fully vaccinated.

Warrington Guardian:

This is followed by Great Sankey at 81.1 per cent and Penketh and Cuerdley at 79.8 per cent.

At the other end is Fairfield and Howley, where only 51.4 per cent of the population fully jabbed.

Bewsey and Dallam is next at 56.6 per cent followed by Hulme at 57.1 per cent.

What are public health leaders in the town saying?

Despite restrictions being removed, residents are being strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in areas where social distancing cannot always be guaranteed, where good ventilation may not be possible or where there are multiple people in an enclosed venue.

This includes, for example, wearing a face mask in supermarkets, health and social care settings, GP surgeries and in other busy areas, such as indoor shopping centres and when on public transport – including trains, buses, taxis and when sharing cars.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “We are all desperate to get back to normal, and despite the national announcement confirming our move to step four from Monday, we cannot ignore the local picture – where our cases numbers are still rising and people are still in hospital due to the virus.

“We need to remain extra cautious, despite what I know will be the temptation to assume that the move to step four will be a ‘green light’ to live our lives as if the virus is no longer with us.

“We also need to bear in mind that the steps we take to keep ourselves safe, such as keeping our distance and wearing a face covering – which I would strongly recommend you do where necessary – will also help support those who may be nervous about being in busier public spaces or who may be at risk of becoming very unwell if they contract the virus.

“Warrington has shown immense resolve and resilience since the beginning of the pandemic. I ask you once again to keep doing your bit.”