CHESHIRE West and Chester has been placed in Tier 2 of the Government's new coronavirus restrictions, with them taking effect once the England lockdown has ended on December 2.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has explained, as part of a lengthy statement, why the borough has been placed in Tier 2, rather than the less stringent Tier 1, or the tougher Tier 3, allocation.

The reasons given are the same for Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton.

Mr Hancock said: "Case rates are continuing to decline across Warrington and Cheshire, with a 27.4% fall to 209 people per 100,000, in line with Liverpool City Region.

"However, case rates in those over 60 remain high (175/100,000) though falling. Positivity is 8.1%.

"Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS foundation Trust has 150 inpatients with Covid-19."

In recent days, the seven-day infection rate for Cheshire West has been declining significantly each day.

From its peak of 323.8 on November 11, the latest available figure is now 208.1 on November 20 – a drop of more than one third.

In addition, the number of new cases confirmed in recent days continues to fall, meaning the infection rate is on course to continue its decline.

Prior to lockdown, Cheshire west had been in Tier 2, with the Liverpool City Region in Tier 3 and North Wales in its own lockdown. The infection rate continued to rise until the England lockdown was imposed.

Nationally, only three areas have been placed in Tier 1 – the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall.

The majority of areas have been placed in Tier 2, but a significant number of regions have been placed in Tier 3, including in Manchester, the North East and the West Midlands.