PUBS, betting shops, casinos, adult gaming centres and gyms across Wirral are closed from today as part of tough new lockdown restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Liverpool City Region - which includes Wirral - will be subject to tough Tier 3 measures, aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Under the measures:

  • Pubs and bars will close.
  • They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Indoor gyms and fitness/dance studios, sports facilities, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will close;
  • Wedding receptions will not be permitted;
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside their local area, or entering another area rated Very High other than for work, education, accessing youth services, or to meet caring responsibilities;
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in the Liverpool City Region and avoid staying overnight in the Liverpool City Region if they are resident elsewhere.
  • Shops, schools and universities will be allowed to stay open.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to remain open.
  • There will be no social mixing indoors.

The new rules will affect the whole of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority - which includes Wirral.

It is believed the new restrictions could be in place for six months, but will be subject to regular review.

After Monday's announcement, Wirral council leader Janette Williamson said doing nothing to tackle the spread of Coronavirus was "not an option" adding that although the measures were not wanted they were necessary "to protecting the health and lives of the people of Wirral and defending the borough's businesses and employees from the worst effects of the increased restrictions."

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Leader of Wirral Council, Janette Williamson, said: "Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise in Wirral and across the rest of the Liverpool City Region and until that is reversed we will face restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

"The economies of northern towns and cities are fragile enough and we recognise that it is vital to do everything we can to protect local businesses and jobs.

"However, in the face of increasing numbers of people with the virus and the pressures now being seen in our hospitals and intensive car wards - doing nothing is not an option.

"As leader of Wirral Council my priorities as we face this next stage in the Covid-19 pandemic are two-fold - protecting the health and lives of the people of Wirral and defending the borough's businesses and employees from the worst effects of the increased restrictions.

"We don't want these new limitations on our freedom but ultimately we have no choice. However, what we as Wirral Council, and the wider Liverpool City Region, can do is seek the maximum help from Whitehall. While we can’t prevent these additional restrictions we can insist the Government provides the financial support to keep our businesses from going under.

"When the Government announces certain businesses must close we need to recognise there is a massive knock-on effect to the rest of the economy.

"These businesses have a huge network of suppliers and other businesses linked to and dependent on them and they also need help.

"The coming weeks and possibly months are going to be really difficult and I will ensure Wirral Council will be doing everything possible to support our communities and businesses.

"In the meantime we all have to work together to adhere to the restrictions and focus on bringing down the spread of the virus - this is the only way we can be sure to get the restrictions lifted and return to some normality as soon as possible."

Announcing the new restrictions during a briefing in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I've spoke to local authorities in the Liverpool city region and they will move into the very high alert level from Wednesday.

"Pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres will all close.

"I'd like to put on record my thanks to steve rotherham for their co-operation in very difficult circumstances.

"We don't want to go back to full national lockdown.

"Can't let the virus rip.

"I take no pleasure in imposing restrictions on business.

"We need to go further."