In January, 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 sites may be subject to change if testing is required in other locations:
Remaining dates for January 2021
Monday 18 January – Southport
Tuesday 19 January – Ainsdale
Wednesday 20 January – NO MOBILE TESTING
Thursday 21 January – NO MOBILE TESTING
Friday 22 January – Litherland
Saturday 23 January – Aintree
Sunday 24 January – NO MOBILE TESTING
Monday25 January – NO MOBILE TESTING
Tuesday 26 January – Litherland
Wednesday 27 January – Litherland
Thursday 28 January – NO MOBILE TESTING
Friday 29 January – Southport
Saturday 30 January – Ainsdale
Sunday 31 January – Ainsdale
Walk-through test centres
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, PR8 1DA
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.
Testing for people not displaying any symptoms
Targeted, SMART COVID-19 testing for people who DON’T have COVID-19 symptoms and who have to go out to work and mix with others or who are in caring roles is now taking place at:
Splash World in Southport
Bootle Leisure Centre
Each site is open from 8am to 8pm . The SMART test sites are walk-through only
Following news of a new strain of Coronavirus, which has led to a significant spike in daily infections, with 53,135 infections announced in the last 24 hours (correct as of December 30), Sefton, alongside it’s neighbours in the Liverpool City Region has moved from the Tier 2 to Tier 3 Very High Risk level of infection from Covid-19.
Residents and businesses within Tier 3 must stick to the following restrictions:-
No household mixing in any indoor setting.
You must not meet socially indoors, in your garden or in most outdoor public venues with anybody you do not live with or have a support bubble with
You can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age. Find out more here
Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services.
You can take part in organised sport and physical activity outdoors with any number of people. Gyms and sports facilities will be open for individual exercise and exercise in single households or support bubbles only.
Indoor group activities and exercise classes should not take place. You can take part in sports outdoors with more than 6 people, although there are exemptions here.
Personal care, including hairdressers and barbers, is allowed.
Following news of a new, more virulent strain of COVID-19, Sefton’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones joined her peers from Cheshire and Merseyside to issue an important joint statement, which residents are urged to read (see below):
This weekend has seen our focus move to a new strain of coronavirus which is being transmitted at an even faster rate than the original COVID-19 disease, and we ask everyone to be extra careful over social distancing, social contacts and general hygiene during the festive period.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 continues to be a potent threat in its original form and so this latest variant needs to be tackled in exactly the same way, with anyone who has travelled from a Tier 4 area being particularly vigilant to protect their loved ones. It is why we urge everyone to double down on what they have been doing so far to drive the infection rate down by:-
Staying local and not travelling between tiers, following good hand hygiene at all times, wearing face coverings when required to do so, taking extra care over social distancing – staying at least 2 metres apart – keeping all social contact to a minimum and staying in well-ventilated places.
We should all act as if we have got the virus to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities, particularly those who are most vulnerable, while doing our utmost not to place an already busy NHS under further strain.
Anyone with symptoms should also book a test as soon as possible and follow the guidance around self-isolation until the result is known and thereafter if it comes back positive. If you have the opportunity of asymptomatic testing, people should also take up that offer.
The virus will continue to mutate and Hands, Face, Space is proven to be the best defence at least until the population has been vaccinated. We know how difficult this is, especially at a time of the year when families traditionally come together to celebrate Christmas.
Our advice remains – just because the Tier 2 rules now allow three households to meet on Christmas Day does not mean we should. If you do, then you still need to do so responsibly, so please follow the guidance, do everything you can to limit your activities as of today, make sure windows are open, keep the visit short and do not hug others outside your own household.
We thank everyone who has been doing their bit for so long, and we know everyone desperately wishes we could see an end to the restrictions, but it’s more important than ever that we all put in that extra effort to keep our friends and families as safe as possible in the coming weeks.
Matthew Tyrer – Cheshire East Council Ian Ashworth – Cheshire West and Chester Council Eileen O’Meara – Halton Council Sarah McNulty – Knowsley Council Matthew Ashton – Liverpool City Council Margaret Jones – Sefton Council Susan Forster – St Helens Council Thara Raj – Warrington Council Julie Webster – Wirral Council
Sefton’s community based COVID-19 immunisation programme run by local GP practices began on Tuesday 15 December as the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.
Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, GPs and other NHS staff from across Sefton are working together to vaccinate those aged 80 and over identified as a priority group. Primary care teams have been working rapidly to set up local vaccination centres and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.
GP practices will be contacting their eligible patients when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.
Marilyn Cull, 85, of Southport, who was the first to receive the vaccine said: “I phoned the surgery back up this morning because I thought it might have been just a dream. I was lucky to be the first one to get the vaccine.
“It’s a much bigger risk not to have the vaccination. The staff were really lovely and they made me feel at ease.
“I’ve been coping well but the news about the vaccine was brilliant and I’m glad I got it done.”
Marjorie Grundy, 87, from Maghull, said: “I was delighted to get the vaccine.
“Getting it done was really straightforward. I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal.”
Charles McCoy, 83, from Maghull, said: “I was glad to get the call. I told my boys and they said do it. Everyone who is offered should get the vaccine.
“The NHS has been fantastic through this and you can see people are working really hard to keep people safe. We should be thankful for the work they do.”
Southport GP, Dr Simon Tobin from Norwood Surgery, said: I’ve been absolutely thrilled at the uptake for the coronavirus vaccine. When we rang them, 99% of our most vulnerable patients jumped at the opportunity to have the vaccine and booked appointments immediately.
“I will be urging all our eligible patients (as well as my 84 year old father) to have the vaccine when they are offered it. They will be contacted by their own surgeries so please don’t ring them.
“Yesterday we gave many of the highest risk people in Southport the first of the two vaccinations. People were so excited and really appreciative. There was a real buzz at the vaccination centre.
“Many parts of the UK have not even started giving the vaccine yet – we’re ahead of the game.
“Our local NHS heroes have worked tirelessly to ensure that we get this vaccine out to those most at need. They deserve tremendous credit for their dedication and commitment to our population.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A great deal of planning has gone on in recent weeks to get ready for the vaccination programme.
“This is an important step in our fight against coronavirus but it is vital to continue to protect yourself and others by following government guidance by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing.”
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Your NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. All eligible patients will be contacted direct when it is their turn, with an invitation to attend a vaccination appointment and details of where to go.
“It is fantastic that we are able to start delivering vaccinations in local community settings and we would like to thank the teams of primary care colleagues who are working to make this happen.”
The vaccine currently being used (Pfizer/BioNTech) has very specific storage and transportation requirements, so the initial focus from this week will be those 80 years of age and over who can visit a centre in person.
Housebound patients and care home residents will be vaccinated as soon as this is possible.
Sefton’s community COVID-19 vaccination centres are being run by groups of practices, known as primary care networks, working together with NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG.
Community based primary care centres are in addition to hospital hubs, which began vaccinating patients on Tuesday 8 December.
Restricted services will be in place during Christmas and New Year as most Sefton Council staff are required to take unpaid leave as part of continuous cost-saving measures.
Like previous years, residents can still access a range of information and transactions via the council website – sefton.gov.uk.
This includes checking bin collections, applying for licences, reporting environmental issues or paying Council Tax and business rates.
Because of the unpaid leave to be taken on December 24, 29, 30 and 31, most council buildings will be closed, contributing to significant savings as part of the budget setting process.
Services that will continue to operate include critical social care services for adults and children, a limited street cleaning service, Registrars, domestic and commercial waste collections and urgent highways issues, including gritting.
Residents are also being encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible and use the household waste recycling centres across the borough.
Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste has now been suspended and will return in March 2021.
Some Sefton Council-run leisure centres will be open at varying times during these dates and users are advised to check sefton.gov.uk for opening times.
A list of social care emergency phone numbers is attached below (see notes to editors).
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said:
“The Christmas shutdown has been in operation for a number of years now and it contributes to the savings we have to make due significant reductions in Government funding.
“Over the course of the financial year, our hard-working staff have their pay reduced in order to take four days unpaid leave.
“Other savings from the closure period come from the reduced need for heating, lighting and running buildings, equipment and vehicles, which all help contribute to the saving we need to make.
“While reduced services are being operated, we will still maintain key services for some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities. However, it is still clear to see that austerity is not over and the harsh Government cuts are still biting us with a noticeable impact on our residents.”
To access a range of service and transactions online, visit sefton.gov.uk. An automated phone service will be in place which details helpful emergency points of contact on 0345 140 0845 and most service requests will only be actioned beyond January.
If you require emergency Covid-19 support, please call 0345 140 0845 between 10am to 3pm on 24th 29th 30th 31st December 2020, and 2nd and 3rd January 2021.
Information regarding Covid test sites is available 24 hours a day at www.sefton.gov.uk
If you are experiencing a crisis or severe financial hardship and need emergency support with food, gas or electricity you may be eligible for help. You must live in Sefton, be aged 16 or over and you will be required to provide a contact telephone number so that support can be arranged.
If you are eligible please call 0151 934 3663, between 10am until 12 noon on, 29th and 30th December. This is for emergencies only.
Normal service will resume on Monday 4th January 2021.
Notes to editors:
Emergency contacts on December 24, 29, 30, and 31 between 9.00am-5.30pm:
Children’s Social Care: 0151 909 1206
Adult Social Care: 0151 909 1523
For Social Care emergencies at all other times call the Emergency Duty Team 0151 934 3555
Normal service will resume on Monday 4th January 2021.