COUNCIL leader Louise Gittins has welcomed the decision to delay the lifting of all Covid lockdown restrictions in England by four weeks.

Cllr Gittins said that while it was "disappointing" that the planned easing of the remaining coronavirus measures can no longer go ahead, it would have been "unwise" to come out of lockdown at this stage given the rise in the number of cases of the Delta variant.

Yesterday's announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson came not long after the Government had confirmed that Cheshire West and Chester Council was among a number of areas that would be given extra support to tackle soaring infection rates.

Latest data shows the infection rate has reached 113 per 100,000 people in the borough as of June 9. Early testing data shows that at least 85% of these cases are the new Delta variant.

The Government's national roadmap had proposed June 21 as the earliest date by which legal limits on social contact could be removed, all premises could reopen – including nightclubs – and restrictions could be eased on large events and performances.

Cllr Gittins said: “It goes without saying that I am disappointed we will not see the easing of restrictions that we had all hoped for on 21 June – but it makes a lot of sense to delay this for four weeks.

“In our borough we have seen how quickly the new Delta variant spreads, so to unlock completely now would have been unwise.

“This is why I welcome this delay, which gives us more chance to limit the spread of the virus and to find out whether the rising infection rate causes a rise in people being admitted to hospital.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your vaccine when it is offered to you – and if you have been offered it in the past but didn’t take up that chance it is not too late. This is our best form of defence against Covid-19, both as individuals and as a community.

“Alongside this it is vital to keep washing or sanitising your hands regularly, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and keep two metres away from anyone who you don’t live with or who isn’t in your support bubble.

“Minimise how much you travel, work from home as much as possible and, if you are socialising, try to stay outdoors in the fresh air.

“I would like to thank all our local residents and businesses for all that they have done to combat this virus so far and I am disappointed that we still need to keep these measures in place, but it’s important for us all to play our part to tackle Covid-19.”

Anyone aged 23 and over is invited to book their Covid-19 vaccine. Visit for more information.

There are significant outbreaks in the Northwich and Winsford areas and anyone who lives or works in those areas is being asked to book a Covid-19 test called a PCR test, whether or not they have symptoms or have been vaccinated.

To book a test visit and select 'My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms' or call 119.