Government announces extra COVID support for City Region
The Government has announced that Sefton, along with the rest of the Liverpool City Region’s boroughs and other parts of the country will be receiving additional support to help identify and prevent the spread of COVID Delta variant, which was first identified in India.
Additional support that can be deployed rapidly can include surge testing, tracing, isolation support and maximising vaccine uptake. These measure are also being rolled out in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington.
They were announced on the day that the Prime Minister confirmed that he was delaying the final fourth stage of lifting lockdown restrictions by up to one month, until Monday 19th July.
Testing, isolation and vaccinations will help suppress and control the spread of the virus and variants in both the short and longer term, when used in combination with people following existing guidance such as hands, face, space and fresh air.
Extra guidance included as part of the enhanced support package, include minimising travel in and out of the affected areas, to keep loved ones and communities safe.
Support available can include specialist Surge Rapid Response Teams and the military to support measures such as testing and door-to-door visits, supervised in-school testing and wastewater testing sampling. Communication support can also increase awareness in all communities, maximise vaccine uptake and enhance contact tracing.
Following feedback from Sefton’s track and trace teams, a campaign is underway to remind Sefton resident of the importance of self-isolating if they get a positive COVID test result.
It reminds residents that if they or a member of their household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms or if they have had a positive rapid test result, it’s crucial that they ALL self‑isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test.
If the result of your PCR test is positive, they must self‑isolate for 10 days but if the result is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate.
However, testing for people with and without COVID symptoms, self- isolation and getting vaccinated along with existing guidance on distancing, mask-wearing and handwashing remain key ways to stay safe and control the spread of the virus.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are doing everything we can to stop the spread of the Delta variant, and working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support in areas where cases of the variant are increasing.
“We know this approach has made a real impact in South London and in Bolton where we have seen it stall rising cases.
“I urge people living these areas to get tested, come forward for your vaccine as soon as you are eligible and make sure to get the all-important second jab – that is how we will beat this virus.”
Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries said: “The Delta variant is now the dominant strain across the UK, with cases continuing to rise in some areas. People in these areas can help protect their community by remaining cautious, by working from home if possible and remembering to practise hands, face, space and fresh air.
“Getting the vaccine gives a strong level of protection against this variant and I strongly recommend that everyone gets both jabs when the NHS invites you – it will protect you and your loved ones.”
Early research shows that vaccines provide strong protection against the new variants. Effectiveness against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant is similar after two doses compared with the Alpha variant first detected in the UK. Even higher levels of effectiveness are expected against hospitalisations and death.
The government and its world-leading scientists are closely monitoring the evolving situation and the rates of variants, and will not hesitate to take additional action whenever necessary.
Despite the delays in Stage 4 of restrictions being lifted the 30-person limit applied to weddings will end in England from Monday 21st June. That means there will no limit on numbers at receptions or ceremonies, whether they are indoors or outdoors.
Capacities will be limited by the highest number of people venues can accommodate while remaining Covid-secure.