Families in Cheshire are being urged to follow the coronavirus rules and social distancing to help avoid a local lockdown.
Cheshire East Council leader Sam Corcoran issued the plea along with the leader of neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester council, Louise Gittins.
It comes after Warrington, Halton, and parts of Merseyside are facing new local lockdown restrictions from Tuesday to stem the soaring coronavirus infection rates.
The two Cheshire council leaders now fear the next seven days could be crucial if local families are to steer clear of their own restrictions.
In the seven days to 12 September, there were 106 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cheshire West and 100 confirmed cases in Cheshire East, a four-fold increase on recent case numbers.
Mr Corcoran said: “There has been a rise in infections across the region during the past few weeks and this is something we need to address now to avoid increased restrictions being imposed on Cheshire.
“Covid-19 remains a real threat, even more so now that it’s right on our doorstep. Our best defence is to be rigorous about simple prevention measures – wash your hands with soap and water, don’t touch your face and maintain social distancing.
“Now is not a time to be complacent, we all must think about the consequences of our actions and carefully consider avoiding situations where we are exposed to other households and larger numbers of people for any length of time.
“I also want to stress the importance of self-isolating and booking yourself in for a test if you have symptoms. However, we also know that testing capacity is not adequate and I, along with other council leaders, have called for increased testing capacity for Cheshire and Merseyside.”
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, councillor Louise Gittins added: “Many people have been observing public health guidance since lockdown was lifted and we have done well to make changes to our lives but we cannot be complacent. Now is the time to redouble our efforts.”
The councils say they will be putting in additional Covid-19 prevention measures along with using powers to enforce punishments for lockdown flouters.