DOZENS of businesses across St Helens have been forced to close today as the town comes under tougher lockdown measures to tackle the rise of coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to the House of Commons on Monday afternoon that pubs, bars and gyms across the Liverpool City Region would need to be closed from today.

The city region includes St Helens and other areas such as Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton and Wirral.

All areas across the borough of St Helens are affected.

Pubs and bars can only be open if they operate as a restaurant.

This requires customers to buy a substantial meal alongside the purchase of alcohol.

If they cannot do this they must close The region has been placed under the very high alert Tier 3 measures because of spiralling infection rates and a surge in admissions to hospital of Covid-19 patients.

Tier 3 restrictions come into force from Wednesday, October 14:

What St Helens Borough Council says will be affected

Pubs and bars to require customers purchase a substantial meal alongside the purchase of alcohol. If they cannot do this they must close.

Gyms and leisure centres to close.

Betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres to close.

No mixing with anyone not from your household or support bubble socially inside or in private gardens, hospitality or certain ticketed venues.

Rule of six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches Advised against travel outside affected area, except for things like work, education, transit journeys.

Those in affected area advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK. People outside of the area advised against overnight stays in the area.

Further guidance includes:

Organised sport allowed in outdoor settings.

Places of worship allowed to stay open with no household mixing allowed.

Colleges, schools, nurseries and registered childminders can continue to operate.

Informal childcare bubbles allowed for children under 14.

15 people allowed at weddings ceremonies, receptions not allowed.

30 people allowed at funerals and up to 15 people at wakes.

This guidance is on top of other guidance in place for the borough of St Helens which includes:

People should work from home wherever possible.

Face masks are compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters, and when using taxi or private hire vehicles.

Fines for not wearing masks or following rules have been increased to £200 for the first offence.

Late-night restrictions for hospitality requiring them to close between 10pm and 5am.

Parents should wear face coverings when they arrive at the school gates to pick up or drop off their children and not gather in groups of more than six at the school gates.

Schools should continue to stagger drop off/pick up times.

You are advised to avoid visiting care homes except in exceptional circumstances.

NHS services will continue to be open as normal - it is important that you still attend appointments and follow guidelines to keep safe while attending these.