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Sefton Council’s call for caution echoed by Metro Mayor and England’s Police Chiefs

People in the street wearing masksIn line with Sefton Council’s appeal to people to remain COVID-cautious after Monday 19th July, when the Government is lifting most remaining restrictions, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham wants people to continue wearing masks on public transport.

Also, police chiefs say that “to keep officers safe” they will continue to wear masks and other protective equipment after the legal requirements are lifted on Monday.

On Monday, the Prime Minister said the Government recommends people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces including on public transport. But it is no longer a legal requirement.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement, Sefton Council advised people to continue wearing face coverings in busy indoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

Last week, Sefton Council leader Ian Maher stressed that people have the right to take whatever action makes them feel safe.

Courtesy and consideration

Cllr Maher said: “It is clear from people’s reaction to the government’s announcement it plans to abandon measures to protect people from COVID from Monday 19th July that this is causing real fears for a lot of people.

“While some people will want to get rid of masks straight away, others will want to continue wearing them and have every right to do so. Wearing masks have proven to protect the wearer and those people who they come into contact with from catching COVID.

“I know many of us are now double vaccinated and feel safer but despite being jabbed up we can still contract the virus without feeling any ill effects and pass it on to others. This may include those who remain vulnerable to COVID, people with other medical conditions that make them susceptible to illness as well as front-line health workers who are acutely aware of the virus and it effects.

“So, continuing to wear a mask can be seen as an act of courtesy and consideration as much as self-protection.”

And on Monday, Sefton Council urged ongoing caution.

Protect ourselves and others

Sefton’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones said: “COVID-19 continues to be with us in Sefton and that presence will continue after Monday 19th July but if we all continue to take the precautions that could protect ourselves and others, we can carefully continue down the path back to normality.”

Yesterday, Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham joined four other mayors, in calling for the continuation of mask-wearing after Monday 19th July. Metro Mayor Rotherham said he couldn’t force privately-owned transport companies to make masks and face covering mandatory, but said he is keen to reach an agreement with transport operators.

Mersey Ferries

Mr Rotheram has been able to make masks mandatory on Mersey Ferries.

After the legal requirement is lifted on Monday 19th July, bus and train companies can still turn away customers who refuse to cover their noses and mouths.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said that wearing a face mask is protecting other people.

Police

Police officers will continue to wear masks and other protective equipment after legal requirements are lifted in England on 19 July “to keep officers safe”.

Chief constables say they have a duty to ‘keep their staff and officers safe’ amid criticism of government policy and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has written to all police officers saying that “existing infection control measures” for coronavirus should continue.

Find out more about COVID-19 in Sefton.