HALTON residents have been told not to visit other people's homes as part of greater coronavirus restrictions.

Pubs and restaurants in Runcorn and Widnes will also be forced to close at 10pm in a bid to tackle rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.

A range of increased restrictions have been announced for Halton, Warrington and Merseyside this morning, Friday.

The new regulations state that there should be no mixing of separate households in one home, including in a private garden.

Businesses operating in the hospitality sector will be required to shut between 10pm and 5am in these areas, with table service only.

New guidance also states that the use of public transport should be ‘for essential purposes only’, while there should be no spectators at amateur or semi-professional sports fixtures.

These measures will come into force on Tuesday, September 22.

Halton currently has the 24th highest number of new coronavirus cases of any area in England.

The most recently available Public Health England data, for the seven day period leading up to September 14, showed 106 positive Covid-19 test - a rate of 81.9 cases per 100,000 residents.

Cllr Rob Polhill, Halton Borough Council leader, said: “From next Tuesday, Halton will – along with our neighbours in Merseyside and Warrington – join a growing list of areas across the country where greater restrictions will be placed to halt the spread of coronavirus.

“This is happening because the number of positive cases of coronavirus in Halton is rising at a very concerning level.

“In addition, the proximity of our location to Warrington and Merseyside – combined with the strong ties between our communities – means that if we do not join them in acting now our own precarious position could worsen, putting more of our community at risk.

“We cannot let this happen.

“This is why, today, I’m asking each one of you to follow the new restrictions when they take effect.

“One of the many things that I love about Halton is how close we are to the community – everyone knows everyone, and we look out for each other.

“We must look out for each other now by doing the right thing and following the rules.

“If we don’t, we will see our hospitals fill up again and we will lose more of our loved ones to this deadly virus.

“None of us want this, so please follow the new rules when they come into effect on Tuesday but also continue to make sure to wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep your distance and stick to the rule of six.

“Please stay safe, thank you.”