Boris Johnson has announced a new three-tier system of local lockdown measures in order to tackle the surge of coronavirus cases.
The Prime Minister told the Commons on Monday that this will “simplify and standardise” local lockdown rules.
Halton and the rest of the Liverpool City Region have been placed under the “very high” alert level, which sees the strictest measures.
This will mean, at a minimum, the closure of pubs and bars and a ban on social mixing indoors and in private gardens.
Cheshire West, Warrington and Cheshire East have been placed in the “high” level alert – the second tier – which means many of the existing national restrictions will remain in force, as well as some additional measures.
Here is everything you need to know about the new local lockdown system:
What is the new system?
Different areas of England will be split up into medium, high and very high alert levels.
These three tiers represent an advancing scale of local lockdown restrictions.
Will areas classed as medium see any changes?
These areas will be subject to the same national measures which currently apply across the country.
These include the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.
What about those in the high alert level?
Household mixing is banned indoors, although support bubbles will still be permitted, while the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors.
Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will move to this level, according to the Prime Minister.
Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the high alert level, he added.
And the very high alert level?
Social mixing will be banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars will be told to close unless they can operate as a restaurant.
Local leaders will help to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos, in very high alert level areas.
People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.
What will pubs in these areas be able to serve?
In areas where premises could only remain open as restaurants, officials said the expectation was that drinks could only be served with a substantial meal – a bag of crisps would not suffice.
The proposed legislation uses the term “table meal”, saying alcohol can only be sold as part of one which “might be expected to be served as the main midday or main evening meal”.
Will schools or shops be shut at any level?
No. Schools, non-essential retail and universities will remain open in all levels, according to Downing Street.