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National Lockdown latest and FAQs

From today, Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government’s new national lockdown restrictions apply.

This means:

  • People must stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  • You should not gather with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  • Certain businesses and venues must close.

The Government has introduced these new measures to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, while ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

They apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December.

Read our national lockdown FAQs.

Household Waste Recycling Centres to stay open during second national lockdown

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has confirmed that it plans to keep all of its Household Waste Recycling Centres, including those at Formby, Sefton Meadows and South Sefton open and operational through the next national lockdown period, starting on Thursday 5th November.

All of them will be open seven days a week in line with the winter opening times of 8am to 5pm.

Booking systems are in place for all cars and vans at the Sefton Meadows, Formby and Rainhill sites. People can book an appointment online at www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.

The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority will keep these arrangements under constant review depending upon developing local and national guidance, and any changes in coronavirus legislation.

Access restrictions will remain in place to control visitor numbers on site at any time and to ensure appropriate social distancing and safety for members of the public and staff.

Members of the public are asked to only visit one of the Centres if absolutely essential at this time.

The Authority’s website at www.merseysidewda.gov.uk will be updated with any new information and updates will be posted via @MerseysideRWA

COVID-19 Fund to support Sefton and City Region’s taxi drivers

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council has joined The Metro Mayor, City Mayor and other Liverpool City Region Council leaders to announce £1.5m COVID-19 Fund for Local Authorities to support Taxi Drivers.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is to provide a fund of up to £1.5 million to the six local authorities in the city region, including Sefton, to enable them to give grants to hard-pressed taxi drivers.

The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licenced taxi drivers in their area.

The Fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to introduce and administer schemes which benefit local taxi drivers in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes.

Cllr Maher, said:

“I recognise that the last few months have been exceptionally difficulty for Sefton taxi drivers, and I hope that this new fund will go some way to easing the financial pressure taxi drivers are facing.

“In addition to this fund, the Sefton Council website has lots of information and advice about what other funding and financial support may be available for taxi drivers, and other self-employed business owners in Sefton. For example, the Self Employment Support Scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months, although may be extended if needed. You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

“I know that taxi drivers who have fallen on hard times recently, like many of our residents who need help during this crisis, are being supported by their family, friends or neighbours. But for anyone who doesn’t have that support network in place, I want to make sure you know Sefton Council and our partners at Sefton CVS are here to help. Have a look on our website www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19 or call us on 0345 140 0845. The team will ask you a few questions and your information will be shared with Sefton CVS (Community Volunteer Service) who are co-ordinating the support in the community.”

The details of how the funding will be issued to taxi drivers are currently being finalised and further information will be available shortly on the Sefton Council website soon.  It is expected that payments will be made before Christmas.

In a joint statement with the other city region leaders, Cllr Maher said:

“We recognise the hardship experienced by our area’s taxi drivers, who have seen their trade seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.

“We know this fund can only make a small contribution but wanted to make this available as a gesture of support for a sector that has been hit hard without adequate support.

“As leaders and mayors, we are continuing to press the Government for financial support packages work for everyone who has seen their livelihood affected by Covid-19 restrictions.”

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Joe Anderson OBE
Mayor of Liverpool

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

 

 

It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 test across Sefton and the Region

With the roll-out of 17 new semi-permanent Local Testing Sites in the last six weeks across Cheshire and Merseyside, the ability to book and get a local test for Covid-19 in has never been better.

Sefton now has four of these walk-through sites, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Open from 8am to 8pm, walk through centres provide easy access to COVID-19 tests for people with coronavirus symptoms who do not have access to a car and for those who have coronavirus symptoms and should not travel by public transport.

People can book appointments, if they have symptoms, at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

There is also a fleet of nine Mobile Testing Units which are deployed across Cheshire and Merseyside to help in priority areas and where there are specific outbreaks. Sefton has had Mobile Units at various locations on most days since the start of July.

As the Liverpool City Region moved into Tier 3 restrictions; the prevalence of the virus meant that more people are experiencing symptoms need to be tested.  More capacity across the national laboratories has also come on-line meaning it is much easier to book an appointment for a test than ever before.

Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley said: “We now have more facilities and more lab capacity to enable anyone with symptoms to seek a test.

“We have worked extremely hard with partners, including local councils, laboratories and NHS Trusts to ensure that we have the infrastructure and capacity we need in Cheshire and Merseyside as we see a second surge of Covid-19.

“It is vital that people, who have symptoms, get a test and then ensure they strictly adhere to the self-isolation advice if they prove to be positive. Testing helps identify those who are carrying the disease and helps to stop the spread of the virus to others.

“Our ability to offer more routes to access testing will help us protect lives and protect livelihoods by ensuring we are able to do more testing every day.”

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119 to find out if they currently have coronavirus.

Huge response confirms need for Sefton Council’s free school meals scheme

On the second day of the scheme, Sefton Council is already dealing with thousands of applications for its October half term free school meals vouchers.

Sefton Council announced it would be running the scheme following Government’s decision not to provide free school meals during the current holiday. It has teamed up with ASDA to provide vouchers that families who qualify for free school meals can use to buy food.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “The response to our scheme has been huge and shows exactly why Sefton Council needed to step in swiftly and set up this scheme in partnership with ASDA.

“We have had thousands of applications already and are now working hard to process them as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Hardy has thanked Sefton’s local businesses and voluntary organisations who are providing packed lunches, food hampers and meals to local families.

“They are proving that together we are a Stronger community,” she said.

Details of the half term school meals scheme can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/half-term-meals.

Families who qualify for free school meals but don’t have Internet access can get printed vouchers from the Borough’s Family Wellbeing Centres. And those families who do not currently receive free school meals can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out if they are eligible and how to apply.

Cllr Hardy added: “Free school meals have been shown to improve health and help tackle health inequalities, as well as removing the poverty trap faced by parents trying to move into employment. That is why, with so many families being affected by coronavirus and the Government’s Tier 3 COVID restrictions, it was vital for the Council to set up this local scheme.

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