The Liverpool City Region including Wirral, Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, & St Helens will move up to tier 3 from midnight tonight, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
He also said that millions more people would be placed under tier 4 restrictions – the highest level. This includes areas such as Greater Manchester, large parts of Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.
This means that Wirral bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be permitted to offer take-aways. However, all shops, including hairdressers and gyms will be allowed to remain open. It will also mean that fans will once again be blocked from attending sports matches.
What are the restrictions in tier three?
- 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
- Collective worship can take place – with no mixing outside your bubble
- Small wedding ceremonies can take place, but not receptions
- Sports fans cannot attend events in stadiums
- Indoor entertainment venues – such as bowling alleys and cinemas – must stay closed
- People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
Tier 3 restrictions in detail can be found here.
You can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if you are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.
While tier 3 rules will apply from tomorrow you should exercise extra caution and think carefully about whether to meet up with friends or family outside your household in outdoor public spaces. This includes not meeting up with them for New Year’s Eve, even if you feel well.
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said, “Despite everyone’s hard work, we are now seeing numbers rise to a very worrying level and from having very low rates just weeks ago, we are now seeing hundreds of cases every day; our figures are currently the highest in the Liverpool City Region.
“As a result, we will now be back under Tier 3 restrictions from tomorrow. This is disappointing given the progress we had made across the region but, in the circumstances, it is the right response.
“I know that this will be tough to take for residents and businesses and they will feel like there is no end in sight. However, the news today about the Oxford vaccine does offer us light at the end of this tunnel.
“However, in the meantime we all have a responsibility to do the right things and heed the Tier 3 restrictions we are going back into. This is especially true for New Years’ Eve. I strongly urge that if you are planning any celebrations tomorrow night, do it safely and in accordance with the restrictions, which means no mixing of households.”
Moving up to tier three was “something none of us wanted” but was necessary amid a “worrying uptick” in Covid-19 cases, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said.
He continued, “Despite our area leading on many of the medical developments in the fight against Covid, we have seen transmission rates rise recently in every part of our city region, leading to a worrying uptick in positive cases. At the same time cases have risen at alarming rates across the rest of the country, threatening to push our NHS to its limits.
“Being placed into Tier 3 today is something that none of us wanted, but I hope that these new measures help to slow down and contain the spread of the virus quickly. We will of course continue to do everything we can here to slow the spread of the virus and save lives and livelihoods.”
Which areas are moving into tier 3?
- Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
- Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
- Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
- York & North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
- Bath and North East Somerset
- Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)