WINSFORD and Middlewich residents are being urged to avoid travelling to Halton and Merseyside this weekend – while residents in those areas are also being asked to stay away.

The Liverpool City Region was placed under tier three restrictions on Wednesday, meaning there is a ‘very high’ coronavirus risk in the area.

That means pubs and bars which do not serve food have been ordered to close, along with other businesses including gyms and casinos.

Meanwhile both Cheshire West and East are tier two areas – meaning that while the coronavirus risk here is ‘high’, those businesses remain open.

Now, Cheshire West and East councils – along with counterparts in Warrington, Halton and the Wirral – have issued a joint statement urging residents to stay close to home and only visit neighbouring boroughs for work, education or health purposes.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Cheshire West and Chester Council leader, said: “All regions of the north west have a part to play in ensuring this virus does not spread further. We need to limit human interaction between households and across borough areas.

“The infection rate is rising in Cheshire West but remains significantly lower than in the Liverpool City Region, so we need to support each other by remaining in our borough areas where possible.

“We would only advise people to travel to our neighbouring boroughs of Wirral and Halton for work, education and health purposes, because such venues must be Covid- secure and there is less chance of transmission.

“Pubs are closed in Wirral and Halton and people may therefore be tempted to visit pubs in Cheshire West. We would advise against this to protect the health of the public in all boroughs, and residents should not be mixing with other households indoors.

“Once this pandemic is over, we will be able to return to our normal lives, travel further and continue to enjoy everything this whole region has to offer.”

Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, added: "We are still seeing a rising rate of infection in Cheshire East with the region currently in ‘High’ level restrictions. We need to act now and do all we can to slow the spread of the virus and avoid facing ‘Very High’ restrictions, as seen in our neighbouring boroughs.

Winsford Guardian:

“We know that the virus can’t spread if people do the right thing and don’t get close together, so I’d ask everyone to play their part – wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep your distance, get tested and immediately self-isolate if you have symptoms and make sure you know what restrictions apply wherever you are and comply with them.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard and sacrificed so much to fight Covid-19, however this fight against the virus is far from over. I urge everyone to keep going doing the right thing to protect themselves and each other.”