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Warrington will go into Tier 3: Council leaders say deal is agreed

Sky News logo Sky News 23/10/2020 Sunita Patel-Carstairs, news reporter

A deal on putting Warrington into Tier 3 has been agreed, council leaders have told Sky News.

The deal, which has not yet been confirmed by the government, includes £4.2m in financial support for businesses.

However, it has not yet been decided when the new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect across the northern town, but it could potentially be next Thursday.

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Meanwhile, Sky News understands that a decision on whether Nottingham will go into Tier 3 will be made this evening.

Sky correspondent Ali Fortescue said the financial package for Warrington includes £1.7m for enforcement.

Leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, beauty parlours, hairdressers and trampoline centres will remain open, subject to them being COVID-secure, Warrington Borough Council said in a statement.

a person holding a sign: Warrington is to be placed under Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions, local leaders say © Reuters Warrington is to be placed under Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions, local leaders say

However, betting shops, soft play centres and casinos will be ordered to close.

Leader of the council, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: "As we approach winter, we need to take urgent action to drive down the number of coronavirus cases in our town.

"This has been a difficult decision but we need to prioritise the health of our most vulnerable and elderly people, and we also need to protect hospital capacity as far as possible."

He added: "Whilst we would have ideally liked a little more funding support, ultimately I think we have secured a very good package that will support our businesses and communities as we continue to do all we can to bring case numbers down."

Gallery: Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services)

Warrington South MP Andy Carter said the decision was "inevitable" given the rise in COVID-19 infections in the town.

"The weekly case rate is 341 per 100,000 population. More worryingly is the 195 per 100,000 in over 60s, approximately twice the level of the national average. This equates to 717 cases in a seven-day period with test positivity currently at around 12%," said the Conservative MP.

"With infections being wide spread in the community the impact on care workers and our local NHS is also being felt, ward staffing levels at the hospital are under pressure because staff have to self isolate too."

He said the action was aimed at bringing the virus spread "back under control", adding it would be reviewed in 28 days.

The town, situated between Liverpool and Manchester which have already been moved into the highest coronavirus alert level, is one of a number of areas that was being considered for the tougher measures.

Pedestrians wearing facemasks walk through central Warrington, north west England Pedestrians wearing facemasks walk through central Warrington, north west England Talks continue between the government and the leaders of Nottingham and West Yorkshire.

Sky correspondent Enda Brady said telephone discussions between the health minister Nadine Dorries and politicians from the city of Nottingham, and the wider Nottinghamshire county are ongoing.

"The city is teetering on the brink, but no final decision has been made just yet," he said.

"The speculation is that Nottingham itself will head into Tier 3 at some point next week - and they will draw a line around the city with other areas remaining in Tier 2."

It comes as new restrictions are imposed on millions more people, with Greater Manchester moving into the highest alert level, Tier 3, and Wales starts its 17-day "firebreak" lockdown later today at 6pm.

Coventry, Stoke and Slough will enter Tier 2 on Saturday.

On Thursday, 21,242 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK, along with 189 deaths among people who had tested positive in the 28 days before they died.

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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