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Sefton supports taxi drivers with £400k grant amidst impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Sefton Council is currently distributing over £400,000 in grant funding to support taxi drivers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

From today (Monday, November 30) over 4,000 taxi drivers licensed in Sefton, and who live in the Liverpool City Region, will each be eligible for a £100 support grant.

Drivers who are eligible will receive a letter sent to their home address containing details of how to access the grant.

Once approved, the drivers will receive their grant within 5 working days

Sefton Council has ensured a dedicated team will be on hand to support all applicants through the claims process.

Those drivers who do not meet the criteria for this grant are able to access other support schemes which offer financial aid. Check your local authority for their support offer.

For more information visit www.sefton.gov.uk/taxigrant

Hospitality, leisure and retail businesses urged to apply for latest grants

Sefton Council is urging businesses to apply for the latest round of financial support through the Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Expanded Scheme) which opens today (Monday 30th November).

National lockdown and local restrictions have had a significant impact on many businesses in Sefton and the Liverpool City Region. Some have benefitted from national support schemes.

Other businesses such as non-essential retail, the self-employed, sole traders, licensed market traders and limited companies based at home who predominantly supply the hospitality and leisure sectors haven’t met the criteria and have not received any financial support.

The Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Expanded Scheme) will be open for applications that meet the eligibility criteria from 11am on Monday 30th November and close at 5pm on Friday 11th December 2020.

The first round of funding has already seen over £1 million of grant assistance paid to 152 Sefton businesses.

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We have seen the impact of the pandemic on our local economy with businesses forced to close at various stages over the past nine months. This latest round of funding aims to help those businesses who have been unable to access other national support schemes by providing financial support to enable them to continue trading.”

Business must be based in Sefton, or one of the other Liverpool City Region local authority areas. The grants are simple to apply for and businesses will not have to repay them.

To find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, businesses should visit the Sefton Council website: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19business

Cllr Maher added: “We recognise the key contribution these businesses make to the Sefton economy and we urge all that fall into these categories to follow the simple processes that are in place so that they can receive these grants as quickly as possible.”

Ongoing business support and advice for all businesses across Sefton is available via InvestSefton, which leads on the Council’s business support. It has dedicated information available on all of the latest Covid-19 updates and support available to businesses in Sefton.  To access this information visit: www.investsefton.com.

Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities on being in Tier 2 restrictions

“Today’s announcement that the Liverpool City Region will exit the national lockdown into Tier 2 is welcome news and a testament to the sacrifice and reliance of everyone who lives here. We’d like to thank each and every person that helped us to achieve this outcome.

“When we entered Tier 3 restrictions seven weeks ago, we were in a very dangerous situation. We had the highest transmission rates in the country and faced the very real risk that our NHS would be overwhelmed.

“We are really pleased that today we see a more encouraging picture, with cases down by over two-thirds since their peak and COVID related hospital admissions also decreasing significantly, relieving some of the pressure on ICU.

“The balance of evidence shows that although we faced a difficult decision over Tier 3, locally we took the right decisions, at the right time.

“We recognised that action was required, but also fought hard for the financial support for our businesses and workers most affected. We always have and always will try to do the best thing for our people and our businesses.

“However, while today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcome, no one should be in any doubt that many difficult months ahead lie ahead.

“We know that these new Tier 2 restrictions will still be tough for many of our businesses and, until a full vaccination programme has been rolled out, the threat from COVID remains a very real and present danger.

“So, we urge everyone to continue to do what they have been doing so well over the past few weeks: following the guidance, protect each other and protect our health services. The worst thing we could do now is to slow the progress we have made or risk a third wave through complacency.

“So please wear your face covering; keep your distance; wash your hands; keep getting tested; and use these hard-won freedoms wisely.”

Find out more about what being in Level 2 restrictions means.

Tier 2 restrictions for Sefton and Liverpool City Region after Wednesday 2nd December

National lockdown due to end but local restrictions now come into force

From Wednesday 2 December, the UK national lockdown ends but Sefton and the rest of the Liverpool City Region will then be placed in Tier 2 ‘High Alert’ of the Government’s alert system.

Liverpool City Region went into the national lockdown on 5 November in Tier 3 ‘Very High Alert’. This means the actions taken and sacrifices made by residents and businesses over the last month have had a positive impact on our infection rates, resulting in the area now being placed in the lower Tier 2 category.

What does Tier 2 mean?

Residents and businesses within Tier 2 must stick to the following restrictions:-

  • No household mixing in any indoor setting.
  • Rule of six applies outdoors – any social gatherings of more than six people are against the law.
  • Pubs and restaurants must close by 11pm – last orders will be called at 10pm.
  • Alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal.
  • Spectators are allowed at sports events and live performances (capacity will be limited and social distancing must be stuck to).
  • Personal care, including hairdressers and barbers, is allowed.

The Government is reviewing the Tiers every two weeks, meaning if our figures start to increase, we could be placed in a higher category with tighter restrictions so it’s really important that everyone keeps up their efforts.

Why are these restrictions necessary?

 We know that COVID-19 is easily transmitted from person to person and while our infection rates have been reducing, they are still too high.

Action needs to be taken to stop the spread of the virus within our communities and limiting interactions with other people as much as possible will help to contain the virus.

The restrictions are in place to protect not only yourself, but those around you.

The sooner we can contain the virus within our communities, the sooner we can get back to some sort of normality.

Remember if you, or anyone in your household, starts to experience symptoms, it is important that you isolate and book a test. The main COVID-19 symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You can book a test online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

The full list of Tier 2 restrictions is available on the Government’s website.

Tier 2 guidance and the five-day Christmas arrangements for People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable from COVID-19.

Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher said:

“Everyone across the Liverpool City Region is playing their part to get our infection rates down and that effort is clearly having an impact as we have come out of lockdown in a better position and in the Tier 2 alert level.

By following the rules, we have seen a significant decrease in our infection rates across the Liverpool City Region and the mass testing programme in Liverpool is helping us to better understand the virus and, importantly, identify people who don’t have symptoms but have tested positive so that they can self-isolate and prevent the further spread of the virus.

Whilst our figures are reducing, they are still too high but we have demonstrated that by following the rules, we can improve our infection rates here across the Liverpool City Region. This is a great achievement and one that we will continue to build on over the coming weeks and months.

Stop. Think. Do the right thing by continuing to follow the rules so that we can start to do and enjoy the things we once did and get back to some sort of normality sooner.”

Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities on being in Tier 2 restrictions

Find out more about he Government’s arrangements for Christmas.

December coronavirus testing facilities across Sefton

Sefton Council, alongside NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, has supported COVID-19 testing across the Borough since the start of July and will continue to ensure that there is a testing provision throughout the winter.

Testing for people with symptoms

Across December, drive-through Mobile Testing Units will operate once again. These sites are for those 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 locations may be subject to change if testing is required in other locations:

  • Tues 1 – Litherland
  • Weds 2 – Litherland
  • Thurs 3 – Ainsdale
  • Fri 4 – Ainsdale
  • Sat 5 – Ainsdale
  • Sun 6 – Maghull
  • Mon 7 – Southport
  • Tues 8 – Southport
  • Weds 9 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Thurs 10 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Fri 11 – Southport
  • Sat 12 – Maghull
  • Sun 13 – Maghull
  • Mon 14 – Ainsdale
  • Tues 15 – Ainsdale
  • Weds 16 – Southport
  • Thurs 17 – Southport
  • Fri 18 – Litherland
  • Sat 19 – Maghull
  • Sun 20 – Maghull
  • Mon 21 – Litherland
  • Tues 22 – Litherland
  • Weds 23 – Ainsdale
  • Thurs 24 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Mon 28 – Southport
  • Tues 29 – Southport
  • Weds 30 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Thurs 31 – Aintree Racecourse

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 PR81DA

Those with symptoms seeking 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.

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