Warrington And Nottingham Will Enter Tier 3 Lockdowns To Protect The NHS From Spiralling Covid-19 Infections
Pubs in Warrington will have to close from tonight after the town enters a Tier 3 lockdown amid spiralling Covid-19 infections (PA)
Warrington and Nottingham are to become the latest areas in England to enter the highest level of local restrictions as Covid-19 infections continue to rise.
The move means pubs, bars, casinos and soft play centres will have to shut for at least a month to try and prevent the continuing spread of coronavirus.
Sitting between Merseyside and Greater Manchester, both of which are already in the “very high” category, Warrington had been expected to join them later this week.
But the department for health confirmed on Monday afternoon it would come under the measures from midnight, saying it has some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the country.
The average case rate in England is at 180.6 people per 100,000, but in Warrington it is 361 among all age groups, and is at 217 for over 60s, a 20% rise on the previous week.
Several hours later Nottingham and some surrounding areas were revealed to also be entering the highest tier from Thursday in a joint statement from the city and county councils.
They said: "Nottingham, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe Council areas are set to move to Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions following discussions between government and council leaders.
"These measures come into force at one minute past midnight on Thursday 29 October.”
Adding: "The single package of measures across these specific areas will be formally announced tomorrow and have been agreed to achieve a sustained reduction in infection rates, especially to help protect our vulnerable residents, the NHS and social care services.
"A package of support similar to those secured in other parts of the country has been agreed to help residents and businesses who will be impacted by the new restrictions."
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "Infection rates are rising in Warrington, and we have agreed with local leaders that it's time to take action.
"I know that these new measures will mean sacrifices must be made by the people in Warrington, and I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of them for recognising the severity of the situation and sticking to the rules.
"We have agreed a support package designed to help businesses while boosting efforts to control the virus locally, and will not hesitate to take similar action in any area of the country if infection rates continue to rise.
“Please remember - now is the time for us all to work together to get this virus under control."
More than 150 pubs and bars are estimated to have to close in the town under the restrictions, as they can only stay open if they operate as a restaurant.
People will also be largely banned from mixing with anybody outside their household or support bubble, and travel in and out of the area is strongly advised against.
In return the council will receive a financial support package of £1.68million to help contact tracing and enforcement from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
They will also get £4.2million in business support from the government after close discussions with local leaders, who communities secretary Robert Jenrick thanked.
He said: “I’m pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that ensures swift action is taken in accordance with public health advice.
“I recognise the huge impact this will have on the area and sacrifices that will need to be made.
“That’s why we have agreed an extensive package of support for local people, businesses and the council.
“The restrictions we have agreed together will only be in place for as long as they are absolutely necessary. They will be reviewed jointly in 28 days’ time.
“The government is working with closely with local leaders as we tackle this challenge together, for the benefit of all the people of Warrington.”
As well as the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, residents in Lancashire and South Yorkshire are also living under Tier 3 restrictions.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe