From midnight tonight tougher Coronavirus restrictions will come into force in Warrington and Halton.
Under the new rules it will be illegal for residents who live in the two boroughs to mix with people from outside their household in any indoor setting.
The rules officially come into force at 00.01 on Saturday 3 October.
Ahead of the changes, Cheshire Constabulary is urging all residents to ensure they are aware of the new rules, know what they mean for them and ensure they stick to them.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “I understand that there are lots of changes for people to take in and I want to reassure residents that we will continue to support the public to navigate the measures in place.
“Officers will be out and about to help explain the rules – and encourage people to follow them – but, where necessary, we will enforce them.
“We need local residents to take personal responsibility and make sure they are fully aware of the rules that apply to them and ensure they stick to them.
“The key message is that from midnight tonight people living in Warrington and Halton will no longer be able to mix with people from outside their household in any indoor settings. This will include all private dwellings, gardens, pubs and restaurants.
“However, there are a small number of exemptions, such as support bubbles and going to work, which is why it’s essential that all residents familiarise themselves with the new legislation, understand what it means for them and ensure they follow the rules.”
Anyone who breaches the new legislation in Warrington and Halton, could face a £200 fine.
The new legislation is in addition to the existing measures in place, which includes the ‘rule of six’ and prevents anyone from meeting in groups of more than six people – whether inside or outside anywhere in Cheshire.
The ‘rule of six’ also requires all hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses will have to close by 10pm. Those who do not comply risk being fined or the premises could closed for breaches.
The force is continuing to work closely alongside the four local authorities in Cheshire – Warrington, Halton, Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils – as well as colleagues in Public Health and other agencies to ensure that residents, shoppers and businesses are acting within the regulations in every part of the county.
ACC Sims added: “The vast majority of people have been listening to the advice, sticking to the rules and following the guidance in place to limit the spread of the virus. However, it is disappointing that a small minority are still choosing to flout the regulations and, with the infection rate spreading rapidly, we will not hesitate to take action where we need to – especially for the most serious breaches. We will not allow those who continue to ignore the rules to reverse the hard work and efforts of everyone else.”
Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane added: “We all have a responsibility to remain vigilant, act responsibly and do everything we can to keep themselves and others safe.
“It is clear that we all have a very important part to play over the coming weeks and months. COVID-19 is very much still out there, we must not let our guard down and the personal choices that we all make are crucial to protect others.
“The rules are there for a reason – to keep us all safe – and we all need to play our part to protect our family, our friends, the communities we live in and, most importantly, the NHS.”
Anyone looking to report a breach of the Coronavirus legislation is urged to do so online at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/ .
Full details of the current regulations relating to Covid-19 can be found on the www.gov.uk/coronavirus website.