Warrington pubs forced to close

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Closures ahead: pubs in Warrington will have to close unless they can operate a food-focused offer
Closures ahead: pubs in Warrington will have to close unless they can operate a food-focused offer

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Pubs in Warrington, north-west England, will have to close unless they can serve meals with alcohol.

The town will move from local Covid alert level ‘high’ to ‘very high’ from 00.01 on Tuesday 27 October.

It comes after discussions between the Government and local leaders resulted in a financial support package of £1.68m for the area. A provision of £4.2m funding was also agreed to support businesses.

Under these measures​, people must not socialise with individuals from different households "in any indoor setting, in any private garden, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events". 

The level means that pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals and any alcohol must only be served alongside food. 

Some 142 pubs will be affected, according to data from real estate adviser Altus Group.

Warrington will join Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Liverpool City region, under the strictest level of coronavirus measures.

Stick to the rules

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Infection rates are rising in Warrington, and we have agreed with local leaders that it’s time to take action. I know that these new measures will mean sacrifices must be made by the people in Warrington, and I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of them for recognising the severity of the situation and sticking to the rules.

"We have agreed a support package designed to help businesses while boosting efforts to control the virus locally, and will not hesitate to take similar action in any area of the country if infection rates continue to rise. Please remember: now is the time for us all to work together to get this virus under control."

Local lockdowns

The alert level will be reviewed after 28 days.

It comes as Welsh pubs are entering their first week of closure under a 'firebreak' lockdown that will last until 9 November.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "There are no easy choices in front of us as the virus spreads rapidly in every part of Wales."

"It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need."

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