CHESHIRE West and Chester will continue to receive extra support from the Government to slow the spread of coronavirus infection.

Areas including the borough, Cheshire East, Warrington and the Liverpool City Region have been receiving extra support for the past month after additional measures were deemed necessary to slow the growth rate of Covid-19.

Going forwards and following set four of the roadmap out of lockdown proceeding on Monday, the additional support package will now be secured in place for five weeks to allow for targeted local action.

The support package includes the option to deliver extra testing within targeted areas, the provision of logistical support to maximise vaccine and testing uptake and further help for local campaigns.

It also includes the option to work with secondary schools and colleges to temporarily reintroduce on site testing and proportionate use of face coverings in areas of high prevalence.

Existing guidance applying to areas receiving the support package, including advice to keep two metres apart and minimise travel into and out of the areas, is being removed as part of step four.

But residents are urged to remain cautious and follow the national guidance; including to wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport; meet outdoors where possible; let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces and consider minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

Covid vaccines are helping prevent more than eight million infections and have saved thousands of lives in England, and the vaccination programme has substantially weakened the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get Covid-19 with symptoms and even more unlikely to get serious Covid-19, to be admitted to hospital or to die from it.

There is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.

Health minister Lord Bethell said: “As we carefully tread the path on our roadmap and move closer to normal life, we have been guided by the data to pinpoint areas that have needed additional support to beat back the growth of Covid-19 cases.

“Working with local authorities and their directors of public health, we are managing the rising number of cases with more testing, more vaccinations and more local contact tracing.

“We will continue to support local areas and encourage people to protect themselves and loved ones by getting jabbed.

Winsford Guardian: The coronavirus testing site in Warrington town centreThe coronavirus testing site in Warrington town centre

“Vaccines are building a wall of protection around us all and we must all enjoy our restored freedoms with caution.”

The test, trace and isolate system will remain a vital tool to reduce transmission.

The legal requirement for contacts of confirmed cases to self-isolate will continue until August 16 for those who are double vaccinated.

After that date, positive cases and all adults who have not received two vaccine doses will still be legally required to isolate.

This is helping to slow the rise in cases expected as the country unlocks, and in turn help to protect the NHS.

Extra support deployed in Birmingham on June 14 is being scaled back as the latest data shows local enhanced support has helped slow the growth rate of Covid-19 in the area.