THE leader of council has called for residents to remain cautious as the lockdown restrictions ease further tomorrow.

The next step forward in the national Covid-19 Roadmap is to take place on Monday, May 17, when restaurants, pubs and hotels can allow customers indoors and people can gather in larger groups.

Step 3 of the roadmap allows groups of up to 30 people to socialise outdoors and two households or groups of up to six people to gather indoors, including in hospitality settings.

Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said “This is another encouraging step forward on our path towards normality. It is great for business, our freedom and mental health, but I would please remind everyone of the need for caution.

“COVID-19 has not gone away. It is a horrible virus that is spread through human contact. We are making great progress with the vaccination programme in Cheshire West and Chester but no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

"To halt COVID-19 in its tracks we need to keep on with our good work of being careful and remembering hands, face, space and fresh air. If you meet indoors make sure that there is plenty of ventilation.”

Ian Ashworth, director of public health at the council, said: “You should test yourself twice a week regardless of whether you have had a vaccine or not. Test whenever suits your routine best, but I’d suggest before your weekend activities start and then on a Monday morning before you start work.”

Large, outdoor, seated venues such as football stadiums can host up to 10,000 spectators and up to 30 people will be able to gather to attend weddings and receptions.

There will be no capped limit on those attending funerals, numbers will be dependent on the capacity of the venue. Theatres and cinemas will be able to entertain up to 1,000 people or 50 per cent of their capacity (whichever is lower) and organised indoor sport including gym classes can resume.

Hospitality, entertainment and indoor fitness-based businesses have had to put in place strict controls on the way in which they will operate and trade in order to ensure staff and customer safety and control the spread of COVID-19.

Care home residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures. Residents will also have greater freedoms to leave their home without having to isolate on their return.

Residents and visitors are advised to adhere to the guidance, hands, face, space and fresh air and follow the safety instructions issued by the businesses.

For more information about COVID-19 in the borough, including testing and the roadmap, visit: