By G9ija

More than eight million people in England will be under the most stringent coronavirus restrictions when Nottingham and Warrington move into Tier 3 this week.

Tougher measures will come into force in the Midlands city and the boroughs of Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe on Thursday, with details expected to be set out on Tuesday.

It came just hours after it was confirmed that Warrington will enter Tier 3 on Tuesday, with pubs and bars in the Cheshire town having to close unless they serve substantial meals.

Households will be banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens and beer gardens, while betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also close.

Warrington Borough Council will receive a financial support package of £1.68 million to help contact tracing and enforcement, as well as £4.2 million in business support from the Government.

The two areas will join the Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire in Tier 3, placing 8.2 million people in England under the toughest restrictions.

The rate of coronavirus cases in Nottingham fell from 726.6 in the seven days to October 15 to 464.4 in the week to October 22, with 1,546 new cases, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

The city had the highest Covid-19 rate in the country in the seven days to October 15, but was 22nd on a list of local authority areas by rate of new cases in the seven days to October 22.

In Warrington, however, cases rose from 343.3 to 395.2 per 100,000 people over the same period, with 830 new cases.

In a joint statement, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council said the measures had been agreed to “achieve a sustained reduction in infection rates, especially to help protect our vulnerable residents, the NHS and social care services”.

“A package of support similar to those secured in other parts of the country has been agreed to help residents and businesses who will be impacted by the new restrictions.”

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “time to take action” in Warrington with rising infection rates.