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Sefton residents asked to take united COVID approach as old rivals meet

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

As the England and Scotland teams prepare to line up against each other tomorrow, continuing a long history of hard-fought rivalry, Sefton Council is urging residents and visitors to unite in following the COVID safety measures.

Celebrating or commiserating

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, whose Scottish lilt will have become familiar to many during the pandemic said: “Whichever side of the fence we’re this evening and whether we’re together celebrating or commiserating, it’s important we all do so in a way that protects ourselves and others.

“If you’re watching at home, remember the rule of six still applies and that it’s always safer to meet outdoors or in well-ventilated areas so maybe set up a screen outside or go to an outdoor event or a screening in a pub garden.

“And if you’re going to the pub, try to help staff by following the restrictions that are there for your safety. That means remaining seated when drinking and eating and wearing masks when moving around.

“And I know we’ll all be tempted to shout at the telly but let’s try to do so behind a mask and not in someone else’s face.”


Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We want everyone to enjoy the Euros but to enjoy them safely which is why we are urging caution. Taking all the necessary steps will help to slow the spread of infections and help us avoid the need for any future local restrictions.”

Mrs Jones also stressed the importance of taking regular, free rapid home tests that help pick up the significant number of people who do not show coronavirus symptoms. And the need for anyone with a positive test outcome self-isolates and books a PCR test by dialling 119 or visiting

Rapid home tests provide a result in as little as 30 minutes and involve taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking for the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

Football on a grass pitch near line markings
Football on a grass pitch near line markings

Free home test kits

Free home test kits are widely available, from test centres, from all Sefton’s pharmacies as well as online from  They can also be collected between 2.30pm and 8pm, seven days a week, from walk-through Local Test Centres opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. No appointments are needed.

Rapid testing for people without symptoms is also available 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, people can also choose to have assisted testing at one of Sefton’s Rapid test sites, which are also open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and located at Bootle Leisure Centre and at Splash World in Southport.

Mrs Jones added: “Tomorrow night’s match will be a game of 90 minutes plus stoppages but if we all take care and do our bit to protect ourselves and others, we can all avoid any injury or illness time, which is what I call a result.”

Find out more about testing in Sefton.