COUNCIL leader Louise Gittins wants the Government to provide "maximum support" for residents and businesses if Cheshire West and Chester is placed in the toughest tier of coronavirus restrictions.

She also said that if the borough is put into the highest level of measures – Tier 3 – then she wants it to be for the shortest period of time possible.

Cllr Gittins was responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement yesterday that England would return to a revised three-tiered approach when the second national lockdown ends on December 2.

Cheshire West and Chester, which was previously placed in Tier 2, will discover which tier it will fall into on Thursday.

Calling for the Government to work with the council in this next phase, Cllr Gittins said: "I understand we will not be consulted on which tier we will be in, but if Government decide to place us in a higher tier of restrictions after 2 December we want this to be for a short period as possible with the maximum support to our residents and businesses.

"I particularly want to see our hospitality sector fully supported and I hope that Government can work with us to make this happen."

The rate of positive cases in the borough per 100,000 has reduced from 303 in the week to November 13, to 243 in the week to November 18.

But Cllr Gittins says now is not the time for complacency.

She added: "Until the recent lockdown we had been placed under the Tier 2 level of restrictions. We’ve seen some good progress over recent days.

"Our residents and businesses have taken action, which will save lives and livelihoods. But we must all continue our efforts to reduce the infection rate. We want to get the rate down further and be at the lower end of restrictions, but this will only happen if we stay the course."