COUNCIL leader Louise Gittins says she is pleased the borough has avoided being placed in the toughest tier of coronavirus restrictions.

It was confirmed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons this morning that Cheshire West and Chester would be in 'Tier 2' of the Government's revised covid regulations.

The new restrictions will take effect once the current England lockdown ends on December 2.

Some of the new regional tiered regulations are tougher than prior to lockdown, particularly in the hospitality sector where in Tier 2 pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants.

Cllr Gittins admitted the measures would "continue to have a severe impact" on some businesses and that local support would be provided where possible.

With retail premises being able to reopen, she urged people to "shop local" and support traders in the run up to Christmas.

"I’m pleased that the collective efforts of our residents and businesses mean we will be in tier 2, rather than the higher level of restrictions in tier 3", said Cllr Gittins.

"But we can’t be complacent. We all need to stay the course, continue to reduce infection, and therefore get down to the lowest tier as soon as possible.

"The council will also continue to step up to drive down the virus through local contact tracing and an expansion of testing.

“I recognise that there will continue to be a severe impact on many of our local businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector. We will continue to provide local support wherever possible.

“For those people who work in retail, entertainment and personal care, it is good news that they will be able to trade in the run up to Christmas. We encourage all our communities to shop local and support these businesses.

“Let’s keep going to support each other and turn this around.”