As reported on Monday, 12th October, Cheshire East has been placed into the government's Covid alert level 'high' also known as 'Tier Two'.
This means that people in the Cheshire East Borough Council area are subject to additional restrictions over and above those seen previously in the borough and those seen in many other parts of the country that have now been rated as 'medium' (Tier One).
The new restrictions come into place today, Wednesday 14 October, subject to House of Commons vote.
From today, people in Cheshire East must not socialise indoors with anybody from outside their household or support bubble. This applies, for example, to going inside at a friend's or family member's house or meeting people from outside your household in an indoor public space. It also applies to meeting with people from outside your household inside a pub or restaurant. This is no longer allowed.
'The rule of six' still applies in outdoor spaces. This means that people from different households can meet in a group of up to six people outside, including in private gardens, beer gardens and alfresco dining, or other spaces, like beaches or parks, (other than where specific exemptions apply). However, 'the rule of six' does not replace the need for social distancing. Keep your distance – two metres is best.
The council is now working to understand the full impact of the new regulations and will provide updates as the implications for Cheshire East residents, businesses and other organisations become clear.
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "We are still seeing a rising rate of infection in Cheshire East, and we must all do what we can to slow the spread of the virus.
"I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard and sacrificed so much to fight Covid-19. Without your positive action we would be in a much worse situation.
"Today, the rate of positive cases for the previous seven days for Cheshire East was 158 per 100,000 population. This is above the England average of 150.1/100,000 cases.
"We only learned of the 'Tier Two' measures shortly before the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday and did not have detailed information regarding the regulations until later. So, we need to take some time to fully understand how the new measures will impact Cheshire East's residents, businesses and communities."
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "The key change is that people can no longer socialise indoors with people from outside their household or support bubble. This will come as blow to many who have enjoyed meeting up with friends and family since lockdown, and particularly as we move towards winter.
"However, we know that the virus can't spread if people do the right thing and don't get close together.
"While these new measures aren't what any of us would wish for, I'd ask everyone to think about what they can do to slow the spread of the virus – wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep your distance, get tested if you have symptoms and make sure you know what restrictions apply wherever you are, and comply with them."
For full details about the measures that apply in high alert level areas, including Cheshire East, visit the government's website.