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Advice on Merseyside COVID restrictions from our Director of Public Health

With the new restrictions being introduced for Merseyside, and across the country, we caught up with Sefton’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones and asked her a range of questions including:

‘What are the new restrictions and how do they affect people in Sefton?’

‘How will they affect people’s childcare arrangements?’

‘What should I do if my child get sent home from school?’

‘Is testing still important and when should I get one?’

‘Should I download the Test and Trace app?’

You can see Margaret’s answers along with advice on meeting up with friends and socialising here.

Want further information?

You can find more information and FAQs on local restrictions here.

Borough’s teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and pupils praised

Cllr John Joseph Kelly Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding has praised the Borough’s teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and pupils themselves for the all that they are doing to ensure children can safely attend school.

Cllr Kelly said: “As with the rest of the region, it is a rapidly changing picture with as many as one third of schools in Sefton having been affected in some way.

“We have had class and year bubbles and the staff who work with them sent home while others are returning following periods of self-isolation.

Rumours

He continued: “Schools have done a great job informing parents and reassuring them that every effort is being made to ensure that children can safely attend school and to quell any rumours that may be being spread.

“Schools have also been also following Department for Education and Public Health England guidelines and we are all doing everything we can to ensure that our children and young people do not miss out on their vital education.”

“I would like to say a personal ‘thank you’ to teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and to the pupils themselves for working with us during this challenging period and also to wish a speedy recovery to anyone who is unwell.”

Symptoms

Cllr Kelly went on to emphasise the importance of anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperatures, new constant cough or a loss of taste or smell, booking a test as soon as they are able.

He said: “Testing is key to helping prevent the spread of infections and with the current pressure on accessing appointments, we would remind people that they should only book a test if they have the coronavirus

“They should not be trying to book themselves a test because their child has symptoms or has been sent home from school.”

Details of the latest restrictions affecting the region and how people might be affected by them can be found on the Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk/coronavirus along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions. These Questions cover a range of areas including people’s households and social life, their support bubbles and childcare, support for vulnerable people and education.

Details of latest COVID restrictions and FAQs available

Sefton Leader Cllr Ian Maher is urging people to visit the Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19 to find out more about the new, local COVID-19 restrictions and how they might affected by them.

A full list of Frequently Asked Questions about the new measures can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/covidfaqs.

The questions cover a range of areas including:

  • what the new measures mean and what areas they cover;
  • how they will affect people’s households and social life;
  • support bubbles and childcare;
  • support for vulnerable people;
  • education;
  • travel;
  • pubs bars and restaurants;
  • funerals;
  • weddings;
  • sporting events;
  • places of worship.

The guidance applies across the Liverpool City Region and will be updated in line with any further Government guidance. Also if the need for any Sefton-specific guidance emerges, it will be added to the list.

Find out more.

Biggest flu programme in history rolled out across Sefton

GP surgeries and pharmacies across Sefton are starting to vaccinate thousands of people against flu while ensuring coronavirus social distancing measures are still followed.

This year will be the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with more people eligible for the free NHS vaccine than ever.

If you are eligible, please do not call your GP practice. Your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:

  • People who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household
  • All school year groups up to and including year 7
  • People aged over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under-2-year olds.

Later this year, dependent on supply, people aged 50 to 64 will also be invited to get the flu vaccination.

If you are in this age group, please wait for your invitation and do not call for an appointment.

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health for Sefton, said: “Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu and will be an important step in preventing not only you, but your family, friends, and colleagues from getting the virus.

“As well as getting the vaccine, practicing good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can really help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it.”

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “With more people eligible for the flu vaccine and the need for social distancing and infection control measures, staff have been working really hard to ensure that everyone will be as safe as possible while receiving their vaccination this year.”

“Don’t ignore the flu, it’s a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread very quickly. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and invited to have it, it is important that you take up that offer.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu should not be underestimated it is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population.

“The flu vaccination is the best defence we have against the virus. It is vital that those eligible have the vaccine every year as it protects against different strains of flu which can change and evolve each year.”

For more information or to check your eligibility for the flu vaccine, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

 

Sefton’s Public Health Director urges residents not to party hard ahead of new COVID restrictions

Photo by Marcus Herzberg from Pexels
Photo by Marcus Herzberg from Pexels

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has appealed to Sefton residents to show restraint and not to ‘party hard’ before new coronavirus restrictions are introduced from Tuesday.

Mrs Jones said:“Of course, with this news of next week’s further restrictions some people will be tempted to go out over the weekend and celebrate before they kick in but I would urge them not to as they could be putting themselves and their vulnerable relatives at risk.

Risk

“As people party more, they tend to become less inhibited and can forget the need for social distancing, mask wearing and frequent and thorough handwashing, all of which are key to preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus when we’re out and about.

“While those people may be younger, meaning they are probably less likely to affected badly by COVID-19 and are less worried about the pandemic, the risk is that they could take the virus home to relatives for whom coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal if they are vulnerable or elderly.

Regret

“So yes, go out and enjoy the weekend, but please don’t enjoy it to so much that you or your family could seriously regret it.

“Our pubs, bars and restaurants will still be open on Wednesday and if we all remember the rules, they can stay that way as we get the infection numbers back down.”

 

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