WIRRAL rail passengers are being urged to use public transport "for essential purposes only" ahead of local lockdown restrictions coming into effect tomorrow.

The restrictions - announced by Government on Friday - have been imposed after Wirral and the wider Merseyside region were classified as an 'area of intervention' after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Merseyrail services will continue to operate as timetabled to support those that do need to travel.

A spokesperson said the guidance is that public transport should only be used for travelling to and from school or work.

Full timetables and details are on the Merseyrail website and passengers are advised to check before they travel. This can be done by visiting www.merseyrail.org, the Merseyrail Twitter account @merseyrail or by sending a message on WhatsApp on 0151 555 1111.

Passengers who need to use Merseyrail services advised to follow safety advice to protect themselves, other passengers, and staff:

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: "As new restrictions come into place for parts of our region on Tuesday, we all must play our part to fight the spread of COVID-19.

"I would like to remind those passengers travelling with us for work and education to please follow our travel advice and ensure that they wear a face covering for the duration of their journey - including at stations - for the safety of themselves, fellow passengers and our staff."

The local lockdown measures mean: