Strict new measures in Warrington have been announced, in response to the sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the borough.
The move follows local case numbers exceeding 200 in the most recent verified seven-day period.
Warrington is part of a wider area – alongside the six Merseyside authorities – where additional restrictions are being introduced.
From Tuesday 22 September, the new regulations in Warrington mean:
- No mixing of separate households in one house or private garden. This supports guidance already given by the council to Warrington residents, earlier this week
- Hospitality for food and drink will be table service only
- Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm and 5am
In addition to this, the guidance has been updated to:
- Use of public transport for essential purposes only
- No spectators at amateur /semi-professional sport
The new government measures – which will be reviewed with the council on an ongoing basis – support the council’s ongoing work to contain the transmission of coronavirus, and to help drive down the number of cases in Warrington.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We have been working closely with the government over the large increase of coronavirus cases in Warrington in recent weeks, and we welcome these new restrictions – in Warrington and the wider region – which are absolutely necessary if we are to drive down infection numbers.
“We have already taken strong steps this week, urging our residents not to visit other households. These new measures will strengthen this work.
“We recognise the impact these new restrictions will have on our hospitality sector. We will continue to work closely with the government and will press them for extra support for the hospitality sector during this period.
“I am urging local people to help us by not seeking to take advantage of ‘one more big night out’ this weekend. Although the new restrictions don’t come into force until Tuesday, please support our efforts to drive down Warrington’s coronavirus rates, by staying in or enjoying a night out responsibly and returning home for 10pm this weekend.”
The new restrictions are in addition to the nationwide six person limit on social gatherings that came into force on Monday 14 September 2020. The ‘rule of six’ remains in place across the country and sits alongside these additional restrictions in Warrington.
The council and police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices.
Warrington’s Director of Public Health, Thara Raj, said: “These restrictions, although disappointing for our borough, are a proportionate and necessary response in helping to drive down the number of coronavirus cases.
“As well as these additional measures, please remember the importance of washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance, wearing a cloth face covering where necessary and getting a test if you have symptoms.
“We would urge everyone to help us by following the restrictions, so we can reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading now. The sooner our infection rates come down, the sooner we can have restrictions lifted. We all have a very important part to play in these efforts.”
- How else can I help reduce the risk of infection?
Continue to follow the national guidance – wash your hands often, cover your face when out and about, and, crucially, keep socially distancing yourself from people not in your household, unless you have formed a household support bubble
- When should I get tested?
If you have a new, persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of normal taste or smell, you must self-isolate and book a coronavirus test immediately at warrington.gov.uk/testandtrace or by calling 119.
There has been an increase in people booking coronavirus tests in recent weeks with demand outstripping capacity. A number of bookings have made by people who aren’t displaying symptoms which is contributing to these pressures. If you are trying to book a test but don’t have symptoms, you could be taking away a test from somebody who is symptomatic.
- How does self-isolation work?
If you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, you will need to complete your 14-day isolation period even if you test negative. If you develop symptoms, everyone in your household will also be required to self-isolate. Further information about self-isolation is available on the NHS website.
We are waiting to receive the regulations outlining the detailed advice, guidance and legislation in full. Further information will be shared with residents and businesses as it becomes available from government.