WITH most schools closed due to coronavirus fears, Halton Borough Council is calling on parents to keep their children at home wherever possible.

The council has asked schools, childcare settings and colleges to remain open only for those children who absolutely need it and for the community to remember that the fewer children travelling to and attending schools lowers the spread of the virus and the infection of vulnerable individuals.

Schools, childcare settings and colleges in Runcorn and Widnes will reopen on Monday to provide care to a limited number of children, including care for children who are vulnerable.

Cllr Tom McInerney, the council's executive board member for children, education and social care, said: "I must stress schools, childcare settings and colleges are closed for public health reasons and the provision schools are putting in place is an emergency measure.

"Schools, childcare settings and colleges will attempt to provide learning opportunities for those in school and not in school.

"Please support staff and each other by respecting the need for key workers and the families of vulnerable children to have access to appropriate childcare at this time.”

Residents are being asked to keep their children at home where possible, while parents should not rely only grandparents or other friends or family with underlying health conditions.