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Council working with HSE to make sure Sefton businesses are COVID-secure

Sefton Council has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to build upon the work that has already been done to make sure the Borough’s businesses are COVID-secure.

From Monday, to help tackle the spread of coronavirus spot checks will be carried out on businesses in the Borough to ensure they are managing their COVID-19 response and control measures in line with current government guidelines.

Checks

The HSE will be supporting the Council’s Environmental Health enforcement teams’ local efforts to help protect staff, customers and visitors from infection. Checks, in the form of phone calls and follow-up visits will focus on businesses in the hospitality, beauty & hairdressing and the warehousing sectors where the Council has responsibility for the enforcement of health and safety legislation.

During the checks, advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors will be provided. Where businesses are not managing, immediate action including enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe, could be taken. Businesses that fail or refuse to comply could face prosecution.

Managing risks

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites across Sefton to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

“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 measure 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.”

Adequate cleaning

HSE and local authority inspectors report they have been finding some common issues across a range of sectors. These include failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day. Bosses are being encouraged to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.

Cllr Lappin continued: “All businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are COVID-secure although we will be focusing on the sectors we think will be most likely to benefit from this help.

“Making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks and prevent the spread of coronavirus will help reduce the chances of a second local lockdown and the harmful effect that will have on Sefton’s economy.”

Visit the Government’s latest information and guidance for business.

Residents can turn to ELAS scheme after Furlough ends

Residents across Sefton who find themselves in financial difficulty following the end of the Government’s furlough scheme may be able to seek support from Sefton Council.

The local authority’s Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS) is available to support local residents who are experiencing severe hardship, a disaster or emergency.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We understand that when this scheme comes to an end there will be a number of people who will feel directly impacted and in need of temporary support.

“If you need urgent help with the costs of food, winter coats, gas, electricity or emergency travel and do not have money to get them we may be able to help through ELAS.

“We may also be able to assist If you need essential domestic appliances because you are setting up home, moving from care, have suffered a disaster or have had to move due to violence or fear of violence.”

To find out more about ELAS or to apply visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/advice-benefits/emergency-limited-assistance-scheme.

High tides mean Ainsdale Beach Car Park closed Friday 18, Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September

Ainsdale beach car park will be closed  on Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September because of high tides.

This is to prevent the risk of damage to vehicles parked on the beach.

 

Liverpool City Region and Cheshire Leaders Call for Urgent Deployment of Testing Capacity

Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher today joined The Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region and the Leaders of four Cheshire Local Authorities in calling on the Government to urgently deploy more Covid-19 testing capacity in the region.

Merseyside was last week identified by the Government as an ‘area of concern’, with Covid-19 cases rising across the region.

An immediate increase in testing capacity is now urgently needed to protect the most vulnerable members of the community and avoid further local lockdowns, say the Leaders and Mayor.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region said: “Today we have come together to speak with one voice and urge the Government to immediately deploy additional testing capacity in our region.

“The North West currently has 24% of England’s Covid-19 cases but only around 15% of the national testing capacity.

“This cannot be right and is hampering our effort to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and avoid further, more drastic and damaging lockdown measures.

“My colleagues and I are fully committed to working in partnership with national government, but we need the right support and resource to help us at a regional level.

“We hope for an immediate, positive response from Government, which is fundamental to us getting the virus under control in our region.”

In addition to Sefton’s Cllr Maher other Liverpool City Region leaders, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Sam Corcoran, Leader, Cheshire East Council; Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader, Halton Borough Council and Cllr Russ Bowden, Leader, Warrington Borough Council.

 

Sefton’s Public Health Director stresses coronavirus test are only for people with symptoms

With a recent survey of the country’s coronavirus testing sites showing a quarter of people turning up for tests did not have symptoms, Sefton’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has reminded residents they should only book a test of they have symptoms.

Mrs Jones said: “Testing is a crucial tool in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 but with the capacity of labs to process tests currently facing an enormous challenge, people should not book a test unless they have symptoms or have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional.

“People who do have any of the coronavirus symptoms, which are a high temperature, a persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell must isolate immediately for 10 days and must stay isolated even if they are waiting test appointment at a nearby location to become available.

“The rest of their household should self-isolate with them while they wait for the results but if they don’t have symptoms, they shouldn’t get a test.

“I know it is frustrating but it is the same for all of us and it’s the best way of making sure we don’t pass on the virus to potentially vulnerable friends and loved ones for whom coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal.”

Social distancing, using face masks and coverings where required and when social distancing is not possible and frequent and thorough handwashing are also vital tools in helping prevent the spread of the virus added Mrs Jones.

She continued: “Additionally, anyone identified as a contact of a positive case through Test and Trace must isolate for the full 14 days even if for some reason they get a negative test during that period. But once again, those people should only book a test if they develop a high temperature, a new continuous cough or they lose their sense of taste or smell.”

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