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Don’t jeopardize next lockdown easing by ignoring COVID rules warning

With just over week to go until the Government’s next planned easing of lockdown measures, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones is urging people across the Borough not to jeopardize it by ignoring the rules.

Stark

She said: “Recent reports of a 30 per cent-plus rise in new coronavirus infections in Sefton, and the recent closure of Formby pool after cases were linked to the facility, are a stark reminder that the coronavirus is still in the Borough.

“It is vital that if we are going to continue local and national progress back to the kinds of normal life we all want to see, we continue to take the precautions that keep us and others safe.

“If you have the coronavirus symptoms of a new continuous cough, a fever or a loss of smell or taste, you are infectious and must self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

“If you don’t you are putting friends and family at risk and helping the spread of COVID.

“And we all need to continue social distancing, mask-wearing and frequent and thorough handwashing, which are all key elements of staying safe.”

Tests

Mrs Jones went on to remind people about the need to take rapid COVID-19 tests, also known as a Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), twice a week.

She continued: “Around third of people with the COVID-19 virus are not showing any symptoms, so it’s important that all of us who are out at work or just out and about take a rapid test twice a week.

“Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test needs to self isolate and book a PCR test that can confirm the result straight away.

“Also, I would ask people to use the NHS Covid-19 app on their phones to record their rapid test results, both negative and positive, as this helps give us a clearer picture of local infection rates and helps us anticipate and prevent outbreaks.”

Results

Rapid tests for people without coronavirus symptoms usually provide a result in around 30 minutes. Rapid testing involves taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

Rapid test kits can be collected from Bootle Town Hall and Splash World in Southport from 8am-8pm seven days a week. No appointments are needed.

Kits

Kits 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.

They are available from all Sefton’s pharmacies and they can be ordered online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

People can also choose to have assisted testing at one of Sefton’s SMART 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.

Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test must self-isolate for 10 days and immediately book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus .F

Find out more about coronavirus testing in Sefton. 

Litherland Walk-in Centre patients urged to use telephone appointment system

Litherland Walk-In Centre
Litherland Walk-In Centre

Patients of Litherland Walk-in Centre are being reminded they need to make an appointment.

People wanting to see someone at the Centre should call the telephone triage and appointment system on 0151 475 4667.

If they turn up without one, they cannot be seen that day or will have to wait outside as the waiting rooms are no longer in use..

This is to comply with Government advice around social distancing and maintain safety.

Litherland Walk-in Centre still has two separate treatment areas:

  • The Field Lane entrance remains closed and only potential Covid-19 patients will be able to enter and exit the main walk-in centre entrance in Field Lane. *Please note the walk-in centre does not offer Covid tests.
  • Patients who don’t have Covid-19 symptoms but are acutely unwell or attending for minor ailments, injuries or dressings, will be seen and treated in another part of Litherland Town Hall, accessed from the Hatton Hill end of the building.

All patients book an appointment in advance so assessment and treatment can be directed to the correct site by experienced staff. This will help ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Find out more. 

May coronavirus testing facilities across Sefton for those with symptoms

One again in May, drive-through Mobile Testing Units will be available across the Borough. These sites are for people with symptoms – a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell – and can be booked by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Planned dates and sites may be subject to change if testing is required in other locations:

Dates and locations for May 2021

  • Saturday 1 Ainsdale
  • Sunday 2 Southport
  • Monday 3 Southport
  • Tuesday 4 Litherland
  • Wednesday 5 Litherland
  • Thursday 6 Litherland
  • Friday 7 NO MOBILE TESTING
  • Saturday 8 Ainsdale
  • Sunday 9 Ainsdale
  • Monday 10 Ainsdale
  • Tuesday 11 Litherland
  • Wednesday 12 Litherland
  • Thursday 13 Ainsdale
  • Friday 14 NO MOBILE TESTING
  • Saturday 15 Southport
  • Sunday 16 Southport
  • Monday 17 Southport
  • Tuesday 18 NO MOBILE TESTING
  • Wednesday 19 Ainsdale
  • Thursday 20 Litherland
  • Friday 21 Litherland
  • Saturday 22 Southport
  • Sunday 23 Southport
  • Monday 24 NO MOBILE TESTING
  • Tuesday 25 Ainsdale
  • Wednesday 26 Ainsdale
  • Thursday 27 Litherland
  • Friday 28 Litherland
  • Saturday 29 Ainsdale
  • Sunday 30 Southport
  • Monday 31 Southport

Walk-through test centres

In addition, local walk-through test centres are open every day from 8am to 8pm, providing easy access to COVID-19 tests for people who do not have access to a car and for those who have symptoms and should not travel by public transport.

The four local test centres are located at:

  • Bootle Town Hall, L20 7AA
  • Crosby Library Car Park, Haigh Road, L22 OLQ
  • Netherton Activity Centre, Glovers Land, L30 3TL
  • Southport Town Hall, PR8 1DA

Those with symptoms wanting tests, need to book ahead of going to either the walk-through or drive-through sites. It’s quick and easy to book by calling 119 or going online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

SMART testing and home tests

People can get rapid SMART COVID-19 tests from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week at Bootle Leisure Centre, Bootle Town Hall and at Southport’s Splash World.

And, home test kits are widely available, from test centres, from all Sefton’s pharmacies as well as online from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

SMART and rapid tests provide a result in as little as 30 minutes. A rapid test at home involves taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking for the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

Self-isolation

It is important that anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test or who develops coronavirus symptoms begins self-isolates for 10 days and immediately books a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. A negative result from a PCR tests means they can stop self-isolating.

Eligible individuals who test positive are entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace.

Beach goers advised to ‘plan ahead’ and consider alternative days out as Sefton prepares for Bank Holiday weekend

With the May Bank Holiday weekend approaching, Sefton Council and its partners are encouraging people to consider alternative destinations to its famous beaches.

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said: “We understand that that with the recent re-opening of gyms and personal care services, people might be feeling beach ready and want to visit our coastline.

“However, we are urging people to plan ahead so that they can make the most of their Bank Holiday weekend safely, and this includes considering alternative destinations to avoid the pressure and risks of overcrowded areas for everyone.”

Those planning to get out and about over the Bank Holiday Weekend may want to consider a visit to one of Sefton’s parks where playgrounds and sports facilities offer a space for people of all ages to spend time outdoors. Or similarly, a visit to a local high street or town centre for a spot of shopping or a bite to eat will help to support businesses who’ve just reopened in line with Covid-19 measures.

Like last year, Sefton Council has put a Visitor Action Plan in place specifically for its coastline. The Plan outlines measures to manage increased demand at the coast to meet the needs of residents, visitors and its staff while at the same time protecting the Borough’s unique but fragile natural environment.

It has been developed in line with Covid-19 guidelines and reinforces the Council’s commitment to working alongside other partners, such as land owners and emergency services, that also serve the Sefton coast.

Visitors looking to head to the coast are being encouraged to explore travel options such as walking or cycling to avoid traffic jams and delays. And drivers are being urged to be considerate to local residents when parking and to avoid fines by using official parking spaces only.

Once at the beach, people can help to keep each other and Council staff safe, by following Covid-19 guidance. This means sticking to groups of six or two households and practising social distancing. They can also play their part in protecting the beaches and keeping the coast’s precious wildlife safe by taking all their litter home and by not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast. 

Mark Shaw added: “We developed the Visitor Action Plan about this same time last year after seeing a huge influx of visitors at weekends, Bank Holidays and on weekdays too.

“As a result, we have introduced additional facilities at our four coastal gateways such as beach car parking options, temporary toilets, large litter bins and more staff and volunteers to cater for them.

“But we hope that now other outdoor attractions are open where people can catch up with friends and loved ones for safe days out, we will not be so busy.”

Anyone still planning a visit to the Sefton coast should visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches to find out about travel options and facilities at its beaches and to read the full Visitor Action Plan for 2021.

Sefton Community Policing Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley said: “Officers will continue to be out on patrol along the Sefton coastline this weekend to offer guidance to the public and ensure people are adhering to Covid guidelines.

“Now there are a wider number of outdoor settings and attractions open, we hope people who are able to will consider enjoying these – in turn taking some of the pressure off our local beauty spots. Police will be working with partners to ensure seating rules are being followed at venues with outdoor seating areas. 

“Anyone acting antisocially at our beaches should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner. Please also plan any visits carefully and give attention when parking – those found to be parking illegally or without consideration for residents will be dealt with by our patrols in partnership with the Local Authority.

“It’s also vital that we protect the local environment as much as we can. This includes not starting fires and taking any litter home with you. 

“Officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

Joe Cunliffe, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager, said: “We appreciate that the public want to have fun and enjoy the Sefton coastline over the Bank Holiday, particularly in light of the continued easing of lockdown restrictions – but our priority must be the safety of visitors, staff and the local community.

“By planning ahead and following clear guidance, we can avoid creating fire risks and increasing demand on our emergency services during this global pandemic. Parking responsibly and giving our fire engines room to get through can help crews reach an incident without delay or complication, minimising loss of life and risk of further damage to the environment and wildlife habitats.

“We would like to remind people that during periods of hot and dry weather, the risk of fires in public areas increase. Though some fires are accidental, unfortunately, most are anti-social behaviour fires that are deliberately started, which is arson.

“Please remember that if you are visiting the Sefton coastline disposable BBQs and campfires are not allowed anywhere on the beaches, the dunes, or the woods. Please take your rubbish home with you, don’t drop cigarettes or leave bottles on the ground – these could become the cause of a fire.  

“If you see fire, report it immediately by calling 999, ask for the Fire Service and give as much detail as possible including the nearest main road – this will help crews mobilise and fight fires as quickly as possible.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Marine Rescue Unit is working alongside the RNLI to remind people across the North West heading to the coast this Bank Holiday to take beach safety seriously. To always check the weather and tides before planning a visit as there has been an increase in call outs of people getting stuck in the mud and cut off by tides.

More on how the RNLI is keeping Sefton’s beach goers safe can be found on their website https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety and people are reminded not to enter the water to help a person or an animal in distress but to call 999 for help.

Vicky Blane, General Manager National Trust Formby, said: “Formby is a popular nature haven for people and wildlife. It’s often extremely busy on sunny days and during holiday periods. Long traffic queues can be frustrating for visitors and put pressure on the residential roads of this small town. We recommend parking at Lifeboat Road for the beach as there’s more space.

“If car parks are full, we’re urging visitors to consider alternative destinations and plan their visit to Formby for another day, so we can continue to open safely. We’re open 7 days a week, all year round.

“We’re also encouraging visitors to come prepared and bring a bag to collect up their rubbish and take home or drop off in the large car park bins. Together we can create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone and protect Formby’s precious wildlife”.

The Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership members include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and others who want to ensure the safety of visitors and residents.

Local health services and advice available over the May Bank Holiday

Sefton’s GPs are reminding residents know how they can get support and medical advice over the coming May Bank Holiday weekend.

People who need urgent NHS care across Sefton are being asked to call NHS 111. The service is staffed by trained professionals and clinicians, who can direct people to the most appropriate health service.

Pharmacies

Local pharmacies, walk-in centres and seven-day GP services will be available to see patients. However, people are being asked to check opening times and whether they need to book an appointment before they go. People can also collect home coronavirus test kits for people without symptoms from any Sefton pharmacy.

Detailed information on health services including pharmacy times over the weekend are available from:

People can find Twitter updates at @NHSSSCCG or @NHSSFCCG on Twitter.

Still available

Dr Pete Chamberlain, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The NHS is here for people that need it. If you or anyone you care for is unwell over the bank holiday weekend, local health services are still available.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “NHS 111 will advise you how to safely manage your condition at home, or direct you to the right health service for your needs, which may include a local walk-in centre, GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.

“If you are assessed as needing to attend a hospital, you will get a timed appointment at a hospital emergency department. In a medical emergency such as loss of consciousness, stroke or serious injury, you should always call 999.”

Repeat prescriptions

In addition, people are being reminded to order their repeat prescriptions on time to ensure they have the medication they need.

Dr Chamberlain says: “If you do need medication for a long-term condition don’t leave it too late to order your repeat prescription. Your local pharmacy can also offer you expert advice on a wide range of everyday health concerns if you or a loved one needs it. You can also find trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions on NHS.uk and the NHS app which provides secure access to a range of NHS services.”

 

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