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Vulnerable ‘will not be abandoned’ when COVID-19 shielding changes begin, says Council

With the Government’s changes to its shielding guidance beginning to come into effect next week, Sefton Council is reminding local people that local support and help will still be available for the most vulnerable.

From Monday 6 July, the guidance says that people who are shielding can meet in groups of up to six people from outside their household so long as it’s outdoors with social distancing.

And then, from Saturday 1 August, the Government plans to tell people currently shielding that they no longer need to do so. They are expected to be told they can go to work if they cannot work from home and that they can visit shops and places of worship, while maintaining rigorous social distancing.

While the support being provided for vulnerable people through the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme will continue beyond the end of July, deliveries of food and medicine boxes organised through National Shielding Service will end at the start of August.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“Some people who are currently shielding because they are vulnerable or at risk may have been concerned at the Government’s announcement of these changes.

“During the coronavirus pandemic Sefton Council has made around 32,500 welfare telephone calls to over 20,000 people who are shielding across the Borough and has delivered almost 900 food parcels.

“In the next few weeks our teams will be calling all of those who currently receive welfare check calls to discuss whether they are likely to have needs beyond the end of July and if they do, how their support can be provided through our invaluable local community and voluntary sector services.

“We want to reassure those and any other vulnerable people across our Borough that we will not abandon them.”

If anyone is concerned about future arrangements, they can also Sefton Council’s Contact Centre team are on 0345 140 0845 or online via www.sefton.gov.uk. To arrange support from NHS responders, people should call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. More information is available at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk

The Council is also encouraging those residents who don’t require support to consider offering support to their neighbours and communities by volunteering through Sefton CVS at https://volunteeringsefton.org.uk.

With the Government’s wider lifting of restrictions coming into effect this weekend, Sefton Council is also reminding residents and visitors of the continued importance of maintaining social distance, of thorough handwashing and of going for a test if they suspect they have the symptoms of COVID-19.

It is also stressing how important it is for anyone contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus to register by visiting https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk or calling 119.

Cllr Moncur added:

“To ensure people don’t the spread of coronavirus to their family and friends and across Sefton, it is really important they follow the NHS guidance about distancing and hand washing and that they participate fully in the Test and Trace process.

“If they contact you, Test and Trace staff don’t care where you’ve been, who you’ve been with and what you’ve been doing. They just want to protect you and other people and prevent the ongoing spread of this deadly virus.”

Mobile Coronavirus Test Sites back in Southport & Litherland from Saturday 4 July

This weekend will see Coronavirus Mobile Test Sites in both Litherland and Southport.

They will be at Southport Eco Centre  and Litherland Sports Park from Saturday 4 to Monday 6 July.

Supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, Mobile Test Sites are providing clinical diagnosis tests to tell people if they currently have the Covid-19 virus. Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.  Essential workers still need to book through www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers .

Key NHS and care workers can now attend regional testing sites, which now include the new site at Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as Haydock and Manchester Airport without the need for an appointment.

Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and enables key workers who test negative to return to that work. over 5,000 people have already been tested so far at Sefton’s Mobile Test Sites, which have been supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG.

Through the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted and will need to share information about their recent interactions. It is really important you follow the NHS guidance to stop the spread of coronavirus in Sefton.

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service.

 

Help Sefton build Liveable Streets for a Borough on the move

Sefton Council wants your views on upgrading and developing cycling and walking provision in the borough following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local authority aims to increase support and facilities for people to walk and cycle across Sefton, which allow for social distancing and provide direct safe routes to key locations, and ultimately improve the air quality in the borough.

Sefton Council want residents, cyclists, commuters and visitors to the borough to give their views to the comprehensive ‘Sefton Liveable Streets’ consultation, which runs until August 31, 2020.

Those commenting on the consultation can give their in depth views on the area by answering a range of detailed questions.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “It is so important for everyone to give their views so that we can shape what we do effectively to better help our communities and commuters.

“It’s easy to get involved, just drop a pin on the map to quickly comment about a specific location.

“Once you’ve left a comment we would encourage you to share the consultation with your friends and family for them to also give their views.”

To comment on the Sefton Liveable Streets consultation, please click here

‘Shop Local’ message for those who live and work in Sefton

With many of the Borough’s shops now open again, in line with Government guidelines, Sefton’s councillors are urging people to support local businesses and jobs by shopping locally.

Since mid-June, retailers have been told they can re-open as long as they have measures in place to protect customers and staff.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said: “Sefton’s shops, high streets and local parades are coming back to life, which is a part of our Borough’s economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To maximise the benefits, we are asking local people to support this revival by shopping local wherever possible.

“By making use of the shops and services on their doorstep throughout Sefton, local residents and people who work in the Borough can support our recovery.”

“Feedback indicates that, while not all shops have re-opened, where they have people are getting used to the new restrictions to ensure social distancing and protect everyone’s safety.

“There are queues but we are all getting used to that and I would appeal to people to be patient with shopkeepers and assistants.”

Cllr Atkinson added: “Sefton Council has now processed over £44 million of grants to local businesses and earlier this month announced its plans to administer the £2.2 million Discretionary Business Grant Fund to support struggling local businesses with fixed property costs.

“Our Borough will bounce back from the effects Coronavirus and we are already working with a wide range of partners to plan the future.”

New coronavirus test site at Bootle Town Hall

Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher has welcomed the news that Bootle Town Hall has been agreed for visits by Mobile Coronavirus Testing units.

Following successful visits by Mobile Test Centres to Litherland, Maghull and Southport, Sefton Council has had confirmation from the Department of Health and Social Care that the parking area at Bootle Town Hall is going to be used as a site for the drive-through tests.

The first of these has been scheduled to take place at Bootle Town Hall from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 July.

Over 5,000 people have already been able to take tests thanks to the Borough’s Mobile Units, which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG.

Typically , Mobile Testing Units visit each location for three days with testing taking place between around 10am and 4pm. Because they are drive-through sites, people being tested do not need to leave their cars.

Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.  Essential workers still need to book through www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers .

Cllr Maher said: “I am delighted that thanks to the success of the Litherland, Maghull and Southport sites so many people have been able to take these vital tests and that we have now been able to agree new locations.

“Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and prevent its spread and thanks to these new sites, testing will be going on somewhere in the Sefton Borough nearly every day in July.”

Cllr Maher also stressed the importance of anyone being contacted by the NHS Test and Trace system because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to register with the service.

He added: “It’s vital that if people receive a text, email or phone call from a contact tracer, they respond by registering with the service and providing some information confidentially to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that they self-isolate for 14 days.

“The contact tracers are to make sure people contacting them have the right information and support they need to isolate as well as asking about other people they have been in contact with to help them identify anyone else who may be at risk.”

Cllr Maher also pointed out that no legitimate person contacting you about Test and Trace will ever ask for payment or your bank details.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of Sefton’s two CCGs, said: “It’s good news that eligible Sefton residents now have more opportunities to be tested for coronavirus closer to home through the mobile units and the addition of new sites in Bootle. This is particularly important for those who may find it difficult to travel to the regional centres in Liverpool, Haydock and Manchester.She added: “These mobile testing units are a fantastic example of how partners across health and care are working together locally to respond to Covid-19.”

People contacted by NHS Test and Trace service can register at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk or by calling 119.

Find out more  about the NHS Test and Trace service and why it is important you follow the guidance  if contacted.

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