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Sefton residents urged to get regular Covid-19 tests to enjoy the Euros safely

Sefton Council is urging residents to take a Covid-19 test before meeting friends and family to enjoy games at the European Championships.

Euro 2020 kicks off a year late tonight (Friday 11th June) and with the action coming thick and fast over the coming weeks – including England’s attempts to win the trophy – the Council wants people to enjoy the action but to do so safely.

All residents without Covid symptoms are encouraged to take up the offer of free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing.

People are asked to get a rapid test before meeting up with friends and family and visiting places like pubs, shops, hairdressers and restaurants. This will help keep everyone’s friends, family and the local community safe.

Rapid testing is available for people without symptoms at Bootle Strand and Southport’s Splash World. The Splash World site is open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. The Bootle Strand site, the former H Samuel unit, is open 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

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

RAPID tests provide a result in as little as 30 minutes. A rapid test at home involves taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking for the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

More information on the available testing options is available here: www.sefton.gov.uk/covid-19-in-sefton/covid-19-testing/coronavirus-testing/

Alongside the regular testing call, the Council is also urging residents to exercise caution when making plans to mix with people outside their household.

It’s always safer to meet outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. So when meeting up for games, if possible, set up a screen outside, attend an outdoor event or go to games being put on in a pub garden.

If that’s not possible ensure indoor spaces are kept well-ventilated, and everyone watching continues to follow the basic guidance including social distancing and keeping hands sanitised.

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “This is a great time for football fans who will be excited for the tournament to start and hoping England go all the way. We want everyone to enjoy themselves but to do so safely. Our guidance on regular testing and advising caution when mixing is not about saying ‘don’t do it’, but about taking all the steps necessary to make sure you’re doing it safely. We are desperate to avoid any new local restrictions coming in.

“So, keep testing regularly and if you can, watch outdoors. If not make sure where you are is well ventilated, that you’re wearing masks when you’re moving around in a pub, that you’re sanitising and following the basic guidance.

“We have to learn to live with this virus and manage the variants and therefore it is about measures that support our residents. We hope everyone watching has a great month and that England win all their games but, most importantly, that everyone stays safe and well.”