POLICE are urging residents to stay home this New Year’s Eve following the news that many parts of the county including Warrington, have moved into Tier 4.
Warrington together with Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East is now in Tier 4 while Halton (Widnes and Runcorn), as part of the Liverpool City region, has moved into Tier 3.
The changes were introduced by the Government on 31 December following the rising number of positive cases being recorded across the country.
The new strain of the coronavirus spreads more easily, therefore more measures are needed to keep it under control and prevent hospitals being overwhelmed.
To stop the spread and save lives it’s vital that residents stay at home and don’t mix with other households, except where there are exemptions such as childcare and ‘bubbles’. This begins with the New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight.
Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke said: “I’m sure that we will all be wishing to say goodbye to this challenging and unprecedented year, but we must do so safely.
“Restrictions on social gatherings remain in place, and large gatherings and parties should not be happening. I urge anyone thinking of attending or organising one, not to do so.
“Our officers will be out in the community over the coming days and weeks and our preference remains to engage with individuals, explain the rules, and encourage compliance.
“However, those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we’ll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”
The Constabulary is aware that, for many people, this latest change will bring fear and dread – particularly for those who are victims of domestic violence and other offences that may be committed behind closed doors.
DCC Cooke added: “I know for some this news will be particularly devastating as it means you may be stuck at home with a partner or family member who causes you constant fear and anguish.
“Please know that you are not alone. We and our partner organisations are here for you, and I would urge you to seek help if you can.”
Key changes which came into effect today, include:
For Tier Four areas in Cheshire (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington):
• Residents should stay at home, unless they have a “reasonable excuse” such as work or education
• Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will now close –that includes gyms.
• You cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble
• People should not leave tier four areas or travel abroad, except for limited reasons (including work and education)
For Tier Three areas in Cheshire (Halton):
• You can’t mix indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor venues, except with your household or bubble
• You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
• Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open, as can swimming pools
• Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway
• Sports fans cannot attend events in stadiums
• People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
For more information about the new government restrictions and what they mean for you go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus