BORIS Johnson has officially announced the closure of pubs and bars across Widnes and Runcorn in the battle to gain control over the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister launched a three-tier system of alert levels for England, with Halton placed in the most serious 'very high' risk or 'tier 3' category from Wednesday.

It means that pubs and bars, casinos, betting shops and gyms will all close when the new restrictions come into force on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson told MPs that the coming weeks and months would 'test the mettle' of the country as it faced a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

But he added: "I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed."

MPs will debate and vote on the measures on Tuesday and the new tiered system will come into effect on Wednesday.

In the latest figures, Halton is the 11th worst hit area with 494 new cases in seven days up to October 8 – the equivalent of 381.7 cases per 100,000 people.

By comparison, Liverpool – also in tier 3 – had 2,981 new cases in the same period and Manchester – the less restricted tier 2 – had 2,641.