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COVID restrictions guidance including update for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable

On Monday 12th October the Prime Minister announced new restrictions for Sefton and the rest of the Liverpool City Region, which have now come into effect.

Exact details of some of the new restrictions are still being clarified but the FAQs on the Sefton Council website have been updated to explain how residents and businesses will be affected.

You can find the updated FAQs here.

With Sefton and the rest of Liverpool City Region having been placed at the Tier 3, Very High COVID alert level, new guidance has been issued for people who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. These are people who have specific health conditions, certain cancers or who are organ transplant recipients.

These people, who are likely previously to have been shielding, are being advised to stay at home as much as possible, to work from home and to avoid all but essential travel. They are also being told to reduce shopping trips significantly, to use online delivery services or ask other people in their household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines.

However, clinically extremely vulnerable people should still try to go outside for exercise, and can still go to school and to work if they cannot work from home.

Anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and who needs support to follow the guidance should contact the Council’s Call Centre on 0345 140 0845.

People can also find out more about the restrictions from the Sefton Council website. 

 

Sefton Council joins forces with partners to tackle Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10th – 17th October 2020. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects people, encourage people to report hate crime, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle hate crime.

Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes and incidents is a priority for the Council and partners throughout the year, but we can also take the opportunity to join with national groups across the country to highlight issues during campaign weeks.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police

Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council said:

“Sefton Council take all incidents of Hate Crime very seriously and we are working hard with our partner agencies to tackle this problem.

 “I would encourage people to tell and partner agencies such as the Police, support charities such as Stop Hate UK and housing providers who can help take action and support victims and witnesses.

“You don’t have to be the victim to be able to report a hate crime or hate incident, anyone can make a report a crime. Please help us make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Click here for more information about hate crime from the Sefton Council website.

Click here for more information from Merseyside Police, including an online reporting.

Click here for more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Click here for more information about the Stop Hate UK national hate crime helpline.

Sefton joins other City Region leaders in reiterating current COVID-19 position

Sefton Council’s leader, Cllr Ian Maher, has joined the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the Liverpool City Region’s six local authorities in issuing a statement rgearding recent media reports and the region’s current position in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

“In response to the high and rising Covid-19 cases in the City Region, we have been working collectively throughout the whole weekend to negotiate a package of support from the Government in the best interests of the people of the Liverpool City Region.

“Following further conversations with the Government today, we are writing to set out the current position between the Government and the LCR.

“Together we agree and share the grave concerns with regard to the increasing pressure on our hospitals and remain absolutely committed to working with the Government to drive down the spread of the Coronavirus and the number of Covid-19 cases. 

“We have made it clear that while our priority is the health and wellbeing of our residents, the wellbeing of our economy is also a top priority. We made it clear we do not feel that the Furlough scheme announced recently is adequate and that businesses in the Region especially those in the hospitality sector and those serving it will be damaged and many will suffer long term damage or close for good. Government made it very, very clear they would not shift and improve the scheme. We also challenged Government on further issues, like Track & Trace, enforcement and funding for the City and Local Authorities to deal with the funding crisis and manage our budgets this year and next year.

“The government has decided that the following further measures and closures will apply to the Liverpool City Region. Pubs and bars; Betting Shops, Casinos and Adult Gaming Centres and Gyms will close. These measures they feel will help stop the spread of Covid 19, reduce the levels of infection and relieve pressure on our Hospitals and NHS.

“We acknowledge the Governments’ offer on new local arrangements and funding support for Enforcement and for Test, Trace and Isolate, specifically:

  • An enforcement package, with laws, not just guidance and advice, and funding and resources to enforce restrictions where necessary.
  • An effective local Track, Trace and Isolate packagewith the funding to support it, cooperation on data, local control and the guaranteed supplies and resources required.

“We also welcome the opportunity to engage logistics and capacity support from the Armed Forces, working alongside our own Local Authority staff and Public Health officials.

“These measures will be supported by a specific package of financial support for our City Region to cover a six-month period and not dependent upon the Tier position of our City Region.

“However, we must be clear that we have not yet reached an agreement on the wider economic support package that will be required as we go into Tier 3 restrictions but we have agreed to remain in meaningful dialogue with government to establish a wider, appropriate and mutually agreeable financial support package to mitigate the impact of new Tier 3 restrictions.

“If pubs, bars and other hospitality and leisure businesses are forced to close, there must be appropriate support for them and their staff. 

“We are also in dialogue with the sector, to understand the impact of the Chancellor’s statement on Friday for how best to use our emergency fund, announced last week.

“Any package should acknowledge the additional pressure on businesses and their employees in Tier 3 areas and we seek acknowledgement of that from the Government as we look to work with them to develop an acceptable solution to these challenges and to provide support for local businesses.

“Our Local Authorities cannot continue to exist hand to mouth and are currently unable to plan for the medium or long-term. A clearer funding settlement must be achieved that enables us to forward plan, continue to deliver essential public services, avoid large scale redundancies for Local Authority key workers and set a budget for next year with confidence. 

“Therefore, we are seeking assurance from Treasury that, in coming to that national position, no local authorities placed on Tier 3 measures will be put in a position where they are unable to balance their budget this year or cannot set a legal budget next year. In this respect we have agreed that a further discussion with Treasury will take place on this matter.

“We also require clear definition of the Exit Strategy from Tier 3.

“We remain committed to dialogue with the Government to achieve a mutually agreeable solution.

“We would also like at this point to thank our officers, who have been working closely with us throughout the weekend, for their ongoing support.

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 

Constructive intervention by Council helps Bootle business to re-open

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health officers have been working with the owner of a Bootle business, closed for not implementing the required precautions to protect staff and customers against COVID-19, to enable it to re-open again safely.

Last week the Council issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle after visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by COVID-19.

Productive

After meetings described as ‘productive’, Council officers were assured that the owner is willing to comply with the regulations and put the required measures in place. This means that the imminent threat of infection has been removed.

Under a new Direction Order, the business can re-open and trade provided the conditions agreed remain in place. Ongoing inspections will be carried out and any breach of the Direction Order’s requirements would result in the business being ordered to close again.

Constructive

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “I am pleased that our Environmental Health team has been able to work constructively with the owner of this Bootle business to put the measures in place that enable it to re-open.

“As we have made clear, Sefton Council will not hesitate to take action against businesses refusing to put in place measures to keep staff and customers safe, but equally we will do all we can to work with them to resolve the issues and enable them start trading again.

“The vast majority of our local businesses have been doing their utmost to meet their legal duty of ensuring they are COVID-secure and since the start of the pandemic in March we have been providing advice and support.

“We appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made and would encourage them to get in touch if they are struggling to meet the requirements.”

Supportive

Earlier this week, Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher joined the Metro Mayor, the Mayor and city region leaders in announcing an emergency fund of up to £40million in a bid to rescue Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure sector from economic collapse. The unprecedented emergency fund is vital to protect the sector as a stop-gap until financial support from central Government is secured.

The fund has been set up a direct response to new government restrictions, which came into force on Saturday 3 October, forbidding people from mixing with other households in indoor venues – including pubs, bars and restaurants.

Find out more about the Emergency Aid package.

Council will not hesitate to take action against businesses failing to protect customers & staff from COVID-19

Cabinet member delivers warning after Closure Notice issued to Bootle business.

After making several visits and issuing a warning letter Sefton Council last week issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle.

Visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by COVID-19.

Because the adequate controls and measures required to make the premises COVID-secure were not put in place, despite being set out in a recent warning letter, the Council has moved to close the premises temporarily.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “It is the responsibility of businesses across Sefton to ensure they have the required measures in place to protect their staff and their customers from COVID_19 infection and we know that most of them are doing their utmost to comply.

“And, the Council is working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to provide support and advice to our local businesses.

“However, when businesses refuse to comply and insist on putting people at risk from the pandemic, we will not hesitate to take action against them as we have with Skin Kerr in Bootle.”

Further to its work with businesses, begun at the start of the pandemic in March, Sefton Council has been working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since mid-September, to help Sefton’s businesses make sure they are COVID-secure. Phone calls and follow-up visits are being carried out with businesses in the hospitality, beauty & hairdressing and the warehousing sectors. During these checks, businesses are being provided with advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.

Find out more about the Council’s work with the HSE.

When the joint initiative was launched, Cllr Lappin said: “Becoming COVID-secure is a legal duty and needs to be the priority and we know the vast majority of our local businesses are trying hard to get this right by putting the necessary measures in place.

“We appreciate the efforts business owners and managers are making and have undertaken this work with the HSE to provide any further advice and support they may need.”

Sefton Council also recently reminded businesses of the need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national COVID-19 app, by visiting www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and following the instructions.

Businesses required by law to display QR code posters include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades and close contact services such as hairdressers, barbershops and tailors. Council facilities such as community centres, libraries and village halls are also covered as are places of worship, community organisations with a physical location and events taking place at a specific location.

Find out more about creating a business test and Trace QR code.

 

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