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Remember the rule of six

Sefton Council wants residents, businesses and visitors to remember the Government’s ‘rule of six’.

Introduced from Monday 14 September, the ‘rule of six’ simplifies and strengthens the guidance on social gatherings. It means people must not meet friends and family you do not live with in a group of more than six, whether indoors or outdoors.

Social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law and the police will be able to disperse any such gatherings and fine individuals involved £100, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.

Symptoms

Meanwhile health bosses have been reminding residents and businesses across Sefton and the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside that they should only get a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms of the virus.

There has been a huge increase in the number of people seeking a test for coronavirus, partly due to the return of schools. This has put a strain on the laboratories which process the tests.

Critical moment

Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health are also saying this is a critical moment in the fight to halt the spread of the virus in the region and are encouraging all residents to play their part by:

  • washing your hands;
  • avoiding crowds;
  • keeping your distance;
  • using face coverings;
  • staying at home and getting tested if you have symptoms.

On Friday, when it was announced that the Government has identified Merseyside as an ‘area of concern’ owing to rising number of COVID-19 cases, Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher called upon people and businesses to continue with social distancing and follow the revised guidelines.

Impressive efforts

He praised the ‘impressive efforts of local people and businesses which, he said, had been reflected in recent low numbers of cases. However, he went on to warn infections in Sefton are being spread through people’s social networks, whether at home, at work or out and about among people of all ages.

“Those people may be only mildly affected by COVID-19 and some are asymptomatic, but our real concern is how these people can still spread the infection, including to their loved ones at home who may be vulnerable and far more seriously affected,” he warned.

Required measures

Cllr Maher also stressed the need for Sefton’s businesses to ensure they are protecting their customers and staff by having all the required measures in place. These include Test and Trace arrangements for pubs, bars and restaurants, distancing and cleaning procedures and face coverings where required.

He said: “We really appreciate the huge efforts and sacrifices Sefton’s population and business have made to work with us to protect vulnerable people across our communities. Now we need them to continue those efforts and prevent tighter restrictions being re-introduced.”

You can read the Government’s latest guidance to meeting with others safely  and social distancing here