Warrington is a 'very high risk' local COVID alert level

Under Tier 3 we have the following restrictions and guidance in place.

  • You must not socialise with anybody you don’t live with, unless you have formed a consistent household or childcare support bubble, in any indoor setting or venue – including homes or restaurants
  • You must not socialise with anybody you don’t live with, unless you have formed a consistent household or childcare support bubble, in any private garden, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space, like parks
  • Pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, must close
  • You should avoid travelling outside Warrington wherever possible – only essential journeys, such as for for work, education, to access youth services, or because of caring responsibilities, should be made
  • You should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK

What the restrictions mean for businesses

  • In 'very high risk' alert level areas, pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal.
  • Retail, leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, trampoline parks, and places of worship will remain open as long as they are COVID-secure. Soft play centres, casinos, and pubs that do not serve substantial meals will close.
  • Venues following COVID-secure guidance must ensure people are not mixing indoors, or in most public outdoor venues, with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a consistent support bubble with). 
  • At least one person in a group should give their contact details to the venue, or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app, so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed.

Further guidance


Don't forget the basics

  • Maintain excellent hand hygiene – wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – try and keep two metres away from people outside your household, or household support bubble, at all times
  • Wear a face covering where appropriate, unless exempt on health grounds, including on public transport and in shops

Please note: we will be updating these FAQs when we receive the full detailed guidance from the government.

FAQs - General

Why are the 'high risk' measures being introduced?

These measures will help to address the significant rise in coronavirus cases in Warrington in recent weeks.

We are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, keep businesses open, and children in school, which these measures will help with – and you have an important part to play by adhering to the new restrictions.

Other than those I live with, or who I've formed a support bubble with, who can come into my house?

Your household is only the people you live with. If you are living on your own and have formed a support bubble, these people can be treated as if they were members of your household. Children of parents who are separated can move between households while the restrictions are in place.

However, other people can still come inside your home for specific purposes, set out in law:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • to visit a person who is dying
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes), or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider and informal childcare as part of a childcare bubble
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to facilitate a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents
How long will the restrictions be in place?

The new restrictions will be monitored closely and reviewed at least once every 14 days. The next steps will depend on the impact these measures have.

What kind of venues have to close between 10pm-5pm?

Across England, the following businesses and venues must close from 10pm to 5am each day except to deliver food or drinks or provide drive-through services. Take-away is not permitted during this time period.

  • cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, including those located inside other premises (workplace canteens are not included if there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace)
  • bowling alleys
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities (this does not include gyms and fitness studios)
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • concert halls

Hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure:

  • customers only consume food and drink while seated in the premises
  • that if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, orders are only taken from customers who are seated
  • bookings are not accepted, or customers admitted onto the premises if:
    • groups include more than one household and support bubble if they will be located indoors
    • groups include more than one household and support bubble, or more than six people if the group includes multiple households, if they will be located outdoors
  • customers do not join other groups inside the premises (including outdoor areas such as beer gardens)
  • tables are appropriately spaced to enable social distancing

Take-away orders can continue to be made at a counter or bar (as can orders inside venues that do not sell alcohol). Between 10pm and 5am each day, hot food takeaways can only operate a delivery service.

All venues must also take details of customers for NHS Test and Trace from Friday 18 September.

Why can I still visit the pub but not someone else’s house?

You can only visit a pub with members of your own household or support bubble.

The hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and test and trace, which private homes don’t have. Houses are like boxes, and these enclosed spaces increase the risk, with people being in close proximity to each other.

Evidence also clearly shows that households are the most likely setting for the virus to be passed to other people.

What's the penalty for breaking the new restrictions?

The police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £200 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days
  • £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400

The government has also introduced fines for those who hold illegal gatherings of over 30 people. Holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people is an offence, and police may issue fines of £10,000 to those who break the law.

What is a household support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network of people between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household.

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

How is the area of Warrington defined in the case of these restrictions?

The borough boundary of Warrington will have the restrictions applied to it.

There will be some "WA" postcodes where the new restrictions will not be applicable such as Altrincham and Frodsham, for example, which aren't in the borough of Warrington.

Can I meet people outside?

In line with the national restrictions, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than six outside. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely (which only applies when meeting others outside), including associated exemptions.

Do I need to shield if I am classed as extremely clinically vulnerable?

The government is not currently changing its guidance on shielding for high risk areas, so residents in Warrington are not being asked to shield. 

However, people who are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable should reduce the number of different people met outside, avoid travel except for essential journeys, work from home where possible and reduce the number of shopping trips made or go at quieter times of the day. You can still go to work if you cannot work from home because all workplaces should be COVID secure, and children should still attend school. This is on top of restrictions for everyone to not meet other households indoors, unless part of a support bubble, and to only meet in groups of up to six people outdoors

Find out the latest information on shielding from government.

Can I still go to work?

Yes - people living inside or outside areas with restrictions in place can travel in and out for work if you cannot work from home. Your workplace should be a COVID-19 secure environment, with appropriate measures in place.

If you normally take public transport to work, you should try to work from home. If you need to take public transport to work, make sure to wear a face covering, unless exempt on medical grounds.

If your job/work involves being inside someone else's house, you are still able to continue your work.

Can people from areas without additional restrictions visit my home?

No, you are not able to have visitors in your home, regardless of whether they live inside or outside of the areas affected by new restrictions, unless you have formed a household support bubble.

What does "essential" travel mean for public transport?

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as other indoor premises).

You should only use public transport for essential reasons and please walk or cycle where possible. Plan your journey in advance, and avoid busy times and routes if possible.

Examples of essential reasons include:

  • to get to and from work
  • to get essential food or medical supplies including click and collect services
  • to support someone who is vulnerable, if no-one else can do so
  • to travel to and from the homes of others in your support bubble
  • to attend an early years setting, school or college, or to accompany a child who is attending an early years setting, school or college, where necessary
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to seek medical care, or avoid illness, injury or harm

You can travel outside your area. However, you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble. You can still go on holiday outside of the affected areas, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

What is the "rule of six"?

The "rule of six" means a maximum of six people can meet from multiple households in outdoor venues, as long as you continue to socially distance from people outside your household or support bubble.

In Warrington, the government is also advising that you should not:

  • meet with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any outdoor public venues. This includes outdoor areas of venues (such as a beer garden) and areas directly outside of settings or venues, such as the pavement or road and parks. This applies to inside and outside of the affected local areas
  • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances
What is the NHS Test and Trace app and how do I get it?

For residents

The app allows you to report symptoms, book or order a coronavirus test, and check in to venues by scanning a QR code, helping the NHS trace individuals who may have coronavirus.

The app will help the NHS understand where, and how quickly, the virus is spreading, so it can respond appropriately. It does this while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.

It is designed to notify its users if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, and it needs to be downloaded by as many people as possible in the borough to track the virus and stop its spread.

For businesses

The app is supported by new regulations, which also come into force today, which state that certain venues are legally required to display NHS QR posters. This includes all venues from the following sectors:

  • hospitality
  • leisure and tourism
  • close contact services
  • places of worship
  • local authority venues

The QR posters will allow app users to scan the QR code to ‘check-in’ as they enter a venue. This means that if people visit the venue and later test positive for coronavirus, other app users who were there at the same time can be alerted.

I can't download the app?

There is a full list of non-compatible devices on the nhs.uk website.

For more information about the app, visit the gov.uk website.

FAQs - Childcare

What are the childcare/baby sitting arrangements with the new restrictions?

You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for your children. You can also continue to employ nannies – see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

‘Informal’ childcare, for example grandparents looking after children, is allowed for children under 13 or vulnerable adults where it is necessary for caring purposes.

Arrangements must be part of a consistent childcare relationship. It does not allow for play-dates or parties.

We would also advise that vulnerable people should not provide childcare.

Does my child need to wear a face covering at school?

Unless exempt, in education settings where students in Year 7 and above are educated, including middle schools, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and students when moving around in corridors and communal areas.

Parents must wear a face covering when dropping off and picking up children at school, and socially distance from others.

Can my child stay in both households of parents who are separated?

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Can a family member who is not in my bubble collect my child from school?

Yes, but try not to meet with people you do not live with as much as you can.

However, people looking after children under the age of 13 or vulnerable adults, can continue to do so when it is necessary for caring purposes. This covers formal and informal arrangements for childcare - but not play-dates or parties.

If you are walking outside, try to maintain social distance and everyone must wash their hands for 20 seconds afterwards. 

You should also try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the car with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

If you are travelling on public transport, wear a face covering, maintain a two metre distance where possible, and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home. 

FAQs - Travel

Can I travel outside the area for work or school?

You should minimise non-essential travel when travelling into, within and out of the affected local areas. We encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan your journey in advance, avoiding busy times and routes if possible. Examples of essential travel include:

  • to get to and from work
  • to get essential food or medical supplies including click-and-collect services
  • to support someone who is vulnerable, if no one else can do so
  • to travel to and from the homes of others in your support bubble
  • to attend an early years setting, school or college, or to accompany a child who is attending an early years setting, school, college or university where necessary
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to seek medical care, or avoid illness, injury or harm
Can I travel to someone's home in an area not subject to the restrictions?

You should not visit anyone’s home inside or outside of the restricted area (except your household support bubble).

What's the advice for public transport?

Please only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work. Examples of essential travel include: travelling to work, getting essential food or medical supplies, supporting someone who is vulnerable, travelling to and from the homes of others in your support bubble, fulfilling legal obligations, going to an early years or educational setting, or travelling to medical care to avoid illness, injury or harm.

Face coverings must be worn on board all public transport and at rail and bus stations unless you are exempt. Please walk or cycle wherever you can, especially for shorter journeys.

What about car sharing?

You should also try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the car with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

You should try to use public transport for essential journeys instead. Please note that private hire taxis and hackney cabs are not classed as public transport but a face covering is still required.

Can I still go on holiday?

You can still go on holiday within the UK or abroad, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with). You need to follow any rules in the area you visit and be aware of the self-isolation rules when travelling to and from certain countries.

People can visit the region on holiday but must comply with the local restrictions.

FAQs - Weddings, civil ceremonies, receptions and funerals

Can my wedding go ahead?

Weddings can go ahead with a maximum of 15 people in attendance.

These events should comply with the COVID-19 secure guidance and venue capacity. See detailed guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships

Can people living outside Warrington come to a wedding, civil ceremony or funeral?

People living outside of Warrington can travel to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funeral, but they must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

How many people can attend a funeral?

A maximum of 30 people should attend a funeral.

Anyone working at these ceremonies or events are not included as part of the person limit.

Can I host a wake at a public venue?

Gatherings in a hospitality setting are limited to six people - but you need to maintain social distance with people who do not live in your household or support bubble, continue with good hand hygiene and wear a face covering where appropriate. If this is not possible, you should only visit the venue with members of your own household or support bubble. 

You cannot host a wake for anyone outside your own household or support bubble in your home or garden.

FAQs - sports and leisure

What are the changes to playing sports?

You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than six outdoors, and only one household/support bubble (for over 18s) indoors. There is an exemption for indoor sports, if it is organised for the purposes of someone who has a disability taking part and there is exemption for children’s activities.

You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. See a list of team sports governing bodies that have developed guidance. For all other sports, guidance is available from your governing body and details on how to safely undertake this activity within an organised environment.

In Warrington, it is advised that you should not attend amateur or professional sporting events as a spectator. If you do attend, you must remain socially distanced and in groups of no more than six when outdoors (and if indoors only with your household or support bubble).

There may be some exceptions, such as parents, guardians or carers being in attendance to ensure safeguarding practices are followed. In these circumstances you should always follow the guidance provided by the relevant sports governing body and follow any additional guidance provided by the venue at which the sport is played.

Can I travel to play sport?

Yes - but please wear a face covering if you are travelling by public transport or taxi.

Can I go to the gym, gym class or a swimming pool?

Yes, as long as these venues have the required COVID-secure risk assessments and guidelines in place. You should stay two metres away from people outside your household or support bubble.

Visit the LiveWire Warrington website for further information and guidance.

Are council community centres still open?

From Friday 2 October, all council owned community centres are now closed to the public, in line with local restrictions.

There are exceptions to this where some buildings are used by tenants for their own business purposes.