Freedom Day - Denise Lawson holds a book after sanitizing her hands (1)

Police, council and health bosses across Cheshire today urged residents to be “responsible” as “Freedom Day” marks the final easing of lockdown restrictions.

They say cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19 are continuing to rise across Cheshire East, with 1,222 more cases in week up to July 8.

The borough remains in the Enhanced Response Area (ERA) designation.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We have all waited for so long for restrictions to be eased, but now is definitely not the right time to become complacent and to let our guard down.

“Staff, volunteers, key workers and businesses across the borough have all worked tirelessly to help get us to this stage.

“But we owe it to ourselves and to others to be responsible and keep following the guidance.”

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “After almost 18 months living under the shadow of this pandemic, the removal of formal restrictions is a welcome relief to many residents and businesses.

“Nevertheless, we should continue to exercise caution, remain vigilant and act responsibly to minimise the spread of Covid in our communities.

“This is especially important for our 40,000 businesses in the borough which have a duty of care to protect their staff and customers; this is likely to involve them taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of further infections.

“Where this is the case, please do as you are requested out of respect for fellow customers and members of staff.

“We should be under no illusion that the coronavirus has gone away, but we do have to learn to live with it.

“Like every other pandemic in history, it will probably be with us for several years to come and we should all be mindful of that.”

Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “I fear the current situation with Covid cases rising and an increase in related hospitalisations, is only going to get worse before it gets better.

“Therefore, getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to keep yourself and others closest to you safe.

“If you haven’t taken up either your first or second jab yet, then please do so, as you need both doses for maximum protection.

“We are still advising to continue wearing a mask to protect others especially in crowded spaces or on public transport, and if you feel you should wear one in other settings or are in a situation where you think you should, then do wear it.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer added: “The numerous lockdowns have had detrimental effects both economically and personally and people are looking forward to getting back to some sense of normality.

“However, we all need to err on the side of caution as the vaccination roll-out continues and the link between infections, hospital admissions and sadly death is broken.

“The people of Cheshire have acted admirably throughout the lockdowns.

“The sense of community spirit has been amazing to see and I hope the bonds that have been formed aren’t broken as time progresses and more and more people return to the life they used to know.”

Many businesses in Nantwich will maintain many of the measures introduced at the start of the pandemic.

Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge says it is urging customers to wear face masks, but respect this is now personal choice and no longer law.

Denise Lawson, Nantwich Book Shop & Coffee Lounge, said: “Over the past 16 months we have had very successful measures in place to stop the spread of Covid in our Bookshop and Coffeeshop.

“With the sharp rise in numbers, it just makes sense to carry on as we have been.

“Many of our younger waiting on staff haven’t even had their first vaccination and far be it for us to expect them to work for us if we are not attempting to provide a measure of adequate protection for them and the rest of our staff and customers.

“We are very fortunate that we haven’t had to close nor had the virus spread through our premises.

“I do admit that it has added to the workload, but it has also added confidence in our business.

“Once again I would like to thank our wonderful staff and customers for their loyal support over the past sixteen months.”

(Image and additional reporting courtesy of Jonathan White)


  1. Thank you Denise & Steve at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge for continuing to keep your customers and staff safe during the pandemic.

  2. maggie izzard says:

    Well done to Nantwich Book Shop and any other coffee shops that continue to protect their all important customers and staff.

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