The town of Warrington, sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester, will go into Tier 3 lockdown 48 hours earlier than expected, with new restrictions coming in on Tuesday.
The measures, which will bring it in line with the two cities sitting either side, have been brought forward after talks between the Government and the council, whose leader Russ Bowden said it was the ‘necessary and proportionate thing to do’.
The tightened restrictions – which were meant to come into force from Thursday – include the shuttering of pubs and betting shops.
Residents are also advised against travelling outside of the north Cheshire town and overnight stays in other parts of the UK.
But officials successfully negotiated for leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, beauty parlours, hairdressers and trampoline parks to stay open.
Some 15 people have died in Warrington Hospital after contracting the virus over the last three days.
The town of Warrington, sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester, will go into Tier 3 lockdown 48 hours earlier than expected, with new restrictions coming in on Tuesday
A map shows where Warrington is located in relation to Liverpool and Manchester, which are also under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions
WHAT ARE THE RULES IN DIFFERENT TIERS OF LOCKDOWN?
Tier one restrictions mirror those already in place across England.
These include the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.
Tier two restrictions mean people are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting
Two households may be allowed to meet in a private garden and public outdoor spaces, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.
Tradespeople – such as plumbers and electricians – can continue to go into a household for work.
Restaurants can open, but only until 10pm.
Pubs and bars will be ordered to close unless they also operate as a restaurant.
This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.
Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.
Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.
Cllr Bowden said: ‘We know that our case numbers in Warrington remain stubbornly high, but what is more concerning is the number of admissions into hospital.
‘The upsetting and grim reality is that there are more people in hospital, more people in intensive care beds and more people being taken by the virus, and we need to do all we can to try to bring this under control.
‘Moving into tier 3 is one of many important steps we need to take as a town to try and reduce transmission of the virus.
‘Please keep doing all you can to play your part: wash your hands, keep your distance from others not in your household, wear a cloth face covering and if you have any symptoms, however mild, self-isolate and get tested immediately.
‘We need to act together, and now, to protect our elderly and vulnerable loved ones, and to support our hospital and their staff who are doing a tremendous job.’
As part of the move into tier 3, the council secured a £5.9m support package, with £1.68m allocated to public health – including public protection, testing and enforcement – with a further £4.2m to be used for business and employment support.
The move plunges another 210,000 people into tighter restrictions and means more than 7.5million Brits are living under the toughest tier of curbs.
Nearly 40million people across the country will be living under some form of lockdown when all the measures are fully enforced next week.
The North West town diagnosed 347 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 18. This is the 35th highest level in the country.
Public Health England data shows 730 people in the town tested positive, and health chiefs say cases are climbing in older age groups.
It came after it was revealed that the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Manchester will reopen in the next week as the city heads into Tier 3.
A local NHS boss announced yesterday the temporary hospital, set up in the Manchester Central Conference Centre, will be brought back into use before the end of next week. It will become the first one in England to reopen.
It had closed in June when the first wave of the UK’s outbreak burned out, but there are now fears that local hospitals will be inundated with Covid patients again. The Nightingale will not be used to treat people seriously ill with coronavirus but instead opened to add capacity for ‘additional rehabilitation’.
The city entered Tier 3 lockdown rules at midnight on Friday after a week of wrangling between the Government and the mayor, Andy Burnham, because the city has one of the highest infection rates in England.
Areas of England under Tier 3 lockdown
Liverpool City Region
Warrington (from Tuesday)
Mr Burnham this week Boris Johnson to Manchester for face-to-face talks to ‘clear the air’ as he said he does not want a ‘lingering political argument’ with the Government.
The Labour Mayor has suffered a bruising week after talks with ministers over moving Greater Manchester into Tier Three coronavirus restrictions collapsed, prompting Mr Johnson to unilaterally impose the rules.
The two sides failed to reach an agreement after Mr Burnham initially demanded a £90 million bailout for businesses before saying he could not accept less than £65 million but the PM would go no higher than £60 million.
The failure to reach an agreement prompted a furious war of words but Mr Burnham said this morning he now wants to ‘reset things on a better footing’ as he claimed to be ‘misunderstood down there’ in Westminster.
He later told MPs that the Government still ‘holds all of the power and all of the money’ and that mayors have to ‘go on bended knee’ to ministers to secure funding as he called for devolution to be made a ‘reality’.
However, the chances of a repairing of relations appears slim after Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg accused Mr Burnham of ‘playing party politics of the cheapest and most disagreeable kind’.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson this afternoon denied he had gone to ‘war’ with Mr Burnham and other local leaders as he said that was ‘not the case’ and stressed he had had ‘great conversations’ with politicians across the country.