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Cautious welcome for lockdown easing measures

With Step 3 of the Government’s Covid roadmap to lockdown easing coming into effect today, Sefton Council’s Environmental Health Team is reminding the Borough’s businesses and their customers to follow the new guidelines.

From today, people can meet friends and family indoors again with a maximum of six people, or two households.

Also, restaurants, cafes and pubs can serve people indoors again, with the same restrictions on numbers in place. Other indoor venues such as cinemas, children’s play areas, and hotels are also allowed to re-open.

Precautions

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said:

“While it’s great news that we’ve moved into the next stage of lockdown relaxations, and we all want to make the most of them, it’s essential that we stick to all the precautions including the rule of six.

“As we have seen with the rise in cases over the last week and the emergence of the variant first identified in India, COVID-19 is still very much present in Sefton and distancing, wearing face coverings where required and frequent thorough handwashing remain important to keeping ourselves and others safe.”

Up to 30 people can now mix outside from and people will can to attend outdoor events. Numbers will be limited numbers depending on capacity. At indoor venues, customers need to remain seated while ordering, eating and drinking help reduce the risk of Covid-19.

Complying

Cllr Lappin continued:

“Our Environmental Health team are reporting that the vast majority of Sefton’s businesses, bars and restaurants have been doing a great job to meet the requirements and keep their staff and their customers safe. And customers have been doing their bit and complying with restrictions.

“But if any local businesses want any advice or support from our Environmental Health team, they can contact them at ETSContact@sefton.gov.uk or by calling 0345 140 0345.”

Sefton Council has also been supporting the Borough’s businesses by provide help to secure PPE and hand sanitiser and put safety measures in place. The Council has also provided over £70 million of financial support grant funding to local businesses during the pandemic as well as around £270,000 in grants for the Borough’s taxi drivers.

Vaccinated

Cllr Lappin also reiterated the importance of people getting vaccinated when they are offered a jab. And she reminded those who are out and about and who are going to work taking regular rapid coronavirus tests to make sure they aren’t accidentally passing on the COVID-19 virus because they are one of those people who does not have symptoms.

She added:
“Because around a third of us don’t show the tell-tale coronavirus symptoms of a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell, despite being infected with coronavirus regular testing is vital.

“Rapid tests involve taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied, and can provide a result in as little as 30 minutes.

“They are available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week at the former H Samuels unit in Bootle Strand and at Southport’s Splash World. And, home test kits are widely available, from test centres, from all Sefton’s pharmacies as well as online from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.

Variant

“Also, I would ask everyone aged over 16 who lives, works or studies in Formby, where cases of the India variant have been found, and anyone who has visited any venue in Formby over the last two weeks to be tested at one of the dedicated test sites that opened on Friday.”

Local, dedicated coronavirus testing has been introduced in Sefton’s Formby area to identify the Indian variant.”

Mobile, drive-through test centres have been set up at Deansgate Lane Park in Formby (L37 3LF) and at Ainsdale Hope on Sandringham Road (PR8 2PJ), and there is a walk-through test centre at Sefton Professional Development Centre (PDC) on Park Lane (L37 6EW).

The Deansgate drive-through test centre is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and the PDC on Park Lane is open between 9am and 4pm seven days a week. The test centre at Ainsdale is open from 9am to 8pm seven days a week.

Appointments are not needed for tests at any of these centres.

More about testing in Sefton.