RESIDENTS are being advised to avoid unnecessary travel to neighbouring boroughs during the COVID-19 pandemic with five areas facing different levels of restrictions.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Wirral Council, Halton Council and Warrington Council are advising residents to remain close to home and only visit neighbouring boroughs for work, education or health purposes.
Wirral and Halton Council areas have the ‘very high’ level of restrictions, while Cheshire West and Chester Council, Warrington Council, Cheshire East areas have fewer restrictions with ‘high’ level restrictions.
Residents in Wirral and Halton should not be travelling to other borough areas, unless the journey is necessary and for work, education or health reasons.
In Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington and Cheshire East the restrictions state that people should be reducing the number of journeys they make where possible.
With pubs being closed in Wirral and Halton as part of the restrictions while at the same time remaining open in the other areas, Council leaders in all five boroughs are now calling on residents to help stop the spread of the virus by avoiding traveling out of their local areas.
Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Councillor Louise Gittins 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.”
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “The new restrictions on the Liverpool City Region state clearly that residents of those areas – which includes Wirral – should not travel outside of the area, except for essential journeys such as for work, education or health reasons.
“It also says people shouldn’t come into the Liverpool City Region from outside the area, with the same exemptions. We are at a critical point in controlling the spread of this dreadful virus so it is vital that all of us stick to the rules and guidance at this time.”
Cheshire East Council leader, Councillor Sam Corcoran, said: “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.
“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.”
Halton Council leader, Cllr Rob Polhill, said: “The Government imposed the ‘very high’ Covid alert level on Halton when they announced their new three-tier system – this was because of the rapid rise of cases, the wide spread of the virus within our community and the worrying increase in hospital admissions.
“We do not want to have to stay living under these ‘very high’ level restrictions for any longer than we have to. So we must now all look after each other and do the right thing – which means staying close to home, unless travelling to work, school, college or medical appointments, limit as much as we can our contact with other people everywhere else and abiding by the restrictions that have been put in place.
“I understand how difficult this is, none of us want our movements curtailed in this way, but it is the only way we will get back to enjoying all that our region has to offer. We all need to stay strong to keep each other safe.”
Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “Please continue to follow the guidance on non-essential travel. We all have to do our bit to bring the number of positive cases down across the region, and one of the best ways people can play their part is by ‘doing the right thing’. That means in this case that although it’s not against the law to travel to other areas, I would recommend that you travel for absolutely essential reasons only, like going to work – if you can’t work from home – for education or to provide care.”