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Sefton Council leader, Cllr Ian Maher responds to latest Merseyside COVID restrictions

Responding to yesterday’s announcement by the Secretary of State about new COVID-19 restrictions affecting Sefton and Merseyside Sefton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Maher said:

“While I know resident and businesses across Sefton will be disappointed and worried about the Government’s introduction of these latest additional measures, I am afraid they are a necessary part of halting the ongoing rise of confirmed cases across the region.

“The new measures mean that from one midnight after midnight (Saturday 3rd October), households are banned from mixing in any indoor settings and these restrictions will be enforceable by law and subject to fines.

“This is in addition to the current restriction on people mixing with other households in private homes and gardens and pub gardens although we need clarity as the Minister stated yesterday people could see each other in Parks, yet the official statement issued later said they couldn’t, so which is it?

“The new regulations also mean people should only travel for essential reasons including going to work, school or college and that visits to care homes should still only take place in exceptional circumstances. Additionally, people should not attend sporting events as spectators.

“The 10pm curfew for pubs bars restaurants and cinemas remains in place.

“This news will be a blow to people across Sefton who have made enormous sacrifices and efforts through the pandemic but I would, once again, urge them to follow these new restrictions to protect Sefton’s communities, its vulnerable, its businesses and its economy.

“I would also plead with people not to make the fact that these new measures don’t come into effect until a minute past midnight on Saturday, an excuse to go out and party tonight as they would be putting themselves and their vulnerable relatives at increased risk.

“And, I would urge all members of Sefton’s hospitality industry to make sure they have the measures, including track and trace QR code posters, social distancing and thorough cleaning regimes, in place now.

“Sefton’s residents, communities and businesses have shown already how far they are prepared to go to follow the regulations and protect the most vulnerable people in our Borough.

“I want to thank them again for that effort and for the commitment I am confident they will show in following these new measures.”

Response to new coronavirus restrictions

Responding to further restrictions announced for the region today, Council Leaders, the City Region Metro Mayor and MPs of the Liverpool City Region said:

“As the elected leaders and MPs of the Liverpool City Region, our first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the 1.6 million people that we represent.

“It’s absolutely right that we do everything we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and keep as many people safe as possible. Over the past few days, we have engaged in talks with minsters over their proposals for greater restrictions.

“The measures announced today are a step in the right direction but we need to understand whether they are enough to really address the escalating cases in our city region.

“Therefore, we are requesting that the government provide us with the scientific evidence so we can understand if these measures will be sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus.

“In addition, we are also aware that without appropriate financial support from the government, restrictions will damage businesses and industries – in many cases irretrievably – when in normal times they are perfectly viable.

“Our region is an international destination, and our visitor economy is worth almost £5bn to the city region economy every year and employs over 50,000 people. Over recent years, our hospitality and retail industries have been vibrant and growing. But we have already seen some businesses go under in the face of COVID and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.

“These new restrictions mean that we will also need an immediate substantial additional package of economic support from the Government urgently and, so far, it is not clear that this is being provided.

“We will now seek further urgent talks with the Government on these measures, any further measures, and what their response is to our request for a financial support package.”

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Council leader responds to speculation on Government plans for further Merseyside COVID restrictions

Responding today to speculation that the Government is going to announce further COVID-19 restrictions across Merseyside Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher said:

“As a result of the continued rise in numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections, both regionally and nationally, we understand that the Government is planning on imposing further restrictions across Merseyside.

“This could mean that households will not be able to mix and we await clarification about any other possible restrictions. This is despite the further measured introduced across Merseyside on 22 September.

“While, along with other Merseyside leaders, I would have liked to have seen enforcement of current restrictions before new ones are added, I will support any measures that will protect vulnerable people in our communities.

“However, I have joined Merseyside leaders in writing to the Government to seek clarity on what resources they will make available for us and the Police to enforce these measures.

“We want the Government to extend the furlough scheme, and to provide further financial support for our businesses and their employees, particularly in the leisure, hospitality and sport industries.

“We will await the government’s guidelines on mixing and we have highlighted the potential effects of separating children from key workers in school and early years settings as we as stressing the importance of maintaining resilience in the health and public sectors to minimise isolation.

“Once again, I would like to thank Sefton’s residents and businesses for all the efforts and sacrifices they have made during the pandemic.

“I would also stress how important it is that people stick to the current guidelines and any new regulations, not just to avoid the heavy fines they could face but to protect our communities, our vulnerable, our economy and our future.”

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.

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