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Self Isolation Payments Scheme for Sefton residents who are self isolating

People on low incomes may be eligible for a £500 payment if they are required to self-isolate.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits and cannot work during your self-isolation period then you can apply for the one-off Test and Trace Support payment.

The new scheme is aimed at ensuring people self-isolate when they are required to, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

People who fail to self-isolate when required could face fines of up to £10,000.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

You must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from when your symptoms begin, or if you have tested positive and show no symptoms. You must self-isolate for 14 days if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Test and Trace Support Payment comes into effect from Monday 28 September, with claims eligible to be back-dated from the launch date.

Applications for those who qualify must be made to Sefton Council. Claimants will be asked to provide proof of NHS Test and Trace requesting they self-isolate, a bank statement and proof of employment or self-employment (such as evidence of self-assessment returns).

From 28 September you face a penalty between £1,000 and £10,000 for failing to self-isolate when required.

More information on how to apply for the payment will be available soon on the Sefton website https://www.sefton.gov.uk/sefton-home.aspx

Cllr. Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council Cabinet Member, said:

“Self-isolating is vital in stopping the spread of coronavirus, which is why these new measures have been introduced. Self-isolating is one of the simplest and most effective means of containing the virus and we need everyone to take responsibility and play their part in ensuring people are protected.”

Council leader responds to new COVID restrictions for Merseyside

Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher has responded to today’s news that the Government has announced new restrictions for Merseyside Sefton from Tuesday 22 September,  in the light of rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the City Region.

Cllr Maher said: “I know people will be concerned at this news but with infection rates rising in people of all ages across our communities, it is important that we all make every effort to restrict the spread of the virus and these new measures will support that.

“This means not socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens. It means pubs, bars and restaurants stick to table service only for food and drink and that these establishments, along with cinemas, have to close at 10pm.”

The new restrictions also mean people should only use public transport for essential purposes such as travelling to school or work, and should not attend amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Cllr Maher continued: “As I have said previously, the Council is really appreciative of all the efforts and sacrifices made by Sefton’s population and the Borough’s business to protect vulnerable people across our communities.

“Now we are relying on our residents and businesses to continue working with us and to follow these new restrictions to prevent tighter measures being re-introduced.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been working with our partners to support vulnerable people across the Borough and we are reviewing the measures we have in place to support them, including those people who were previously shielding”

Cllr Maher stressed the need for people to continue with social distancing, follow the guidelines on wearing masks and face coverings and to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. He also called on Sefton’s businesses to ensure they are protecting their customers and staff by having all the required measures in place, including Test and Trace arrangements at pubs, bars and restaurants, in addition to the newly-announced restrictions.

Earlier this week, Cllr Maher also joined The Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region and the Leaders of four Cheshire Local Authorities in calling on the Government urgently to deploy more Covid-19 testing capacity in the region.

An immediate increase in testing capacity is now urgently needed to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, ensure that our keyworkers can continue to work and avoid further local lockdowns, they said.

Cllr Maher added: “I have written to the Minister in the strongest possible terms to express my disappointment and frustration over the lack of testing in Sefton.

“Testing is vital to helping prevent the spread of coronavirus and we need those people who develop the coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste, to get a test immediately, for their own safety and the safety of others.

“To make an appointment at their nearest available Test Centre or order a Home Testing Kit, they need to visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or call 119.”

Cllr Maher also said it is vitally important that if any Sefton residents are contacted by the Test and Trace programme, they comply with the requests of the contact tracers and stay home if they are asked to do so.

More, local information is available on the Sefton Council website.

 

Care home visits to be limited to protect most vulnerable from growing COVID cases

Sefton Council, along with authorities across Merseyside, is asking care homes to limit interactions with people from outside who may be carrying coronavirus owing to the significant increases in COVID-19 confirmed cases across the region.

Protecting the Borough’s most vulnerable residents has been a priority for Sefton Council since the start of the pandemic, which is why it has written to care home managers and owners instructing them to limit visits.

The following visits can continue but will be review on a weekly basis.

  • Essential visits by health professionals
  • Visits from families and relatives to those residents who are receiving end of life care may continue subject to robust risk assessments.
  • Garden visits subject to risk assessments.
  • All other non-essential visits and visits by family members into care homes are suspended until further notice.

To maintain contact with family members the Council is encouraging people to keep in touch with their loved one through digital channels such as Zoom or WhatsApp and we will support care home staff to facilitate safe contact in this way.

Sefton Council’s letter also explains to care sector providers that it is working with council colleagues across City Region to ensure a coordinated response to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. This work includes requirements around a consistent approach to the Government’s recently-introduced ‘rule of 6’.

This includes considering the benefits and risks of people returning to day services, their transport arrangements and the number of days they may be able to access services.

In the letter, Sefton Council expresses its ongoing appreciation that care providers are all doing their best to support people and keep them safe. It also highlights the need to be aware of the risks posed by groups of people coming together while also taking the needs of service uses and their families into account.

Commenting on the move, Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We know this will be a disappointment for care home residents and their families across the City Region and we acknowledge the hard work our Sefton Care homes have undertaken to manage the risks of an outbreak but it’s vital we take this action to prevent COVID-19 getting into care homes and spreading among residents.

“Younger people are less likely to be affected seriously by COVID-19 and are often asymptomatic and our concern is that when they visit they will unwittingly pass the virus on to their vulnerable relatives for whom coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal.”

“With numbers of coronavirus cases rising across the region, it is important that we weigh up the significant benefits our day services can provide for users and their families with the risks of groups of them coming together to use them.

“We are working closely with our colleagues across the City Region to ensure we are taking a coordinated and proportional approach that ensures people can understand what is happening and what is not and that no-one is missing out because they are a resident of a particular area.”

Sefton Council has told care providers it will be arranging a meeting with them in the coming days to discuss the concerns and questions and they may have.

New coronavirus measures for Sefton school visitors

From today (Friday 18 September) adults visiting Sefton schools will be required to wear face coverings when visiting or entering the school premises. Also, just one adult will be able to enter the premises for drop-off and pick-up.

Parents and carers dropping off or collecting their children are asked to arrive and leave promptly and not to congregate at the school gate or in the playground. And, school staff are being asked to wear face coverings when they come out onto the playground.

With number of COVID-19 cases rising across the region, and Merseyside having been identified by the Government as “area of concern”, these extra measures are needed to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Although children and younger people are less likely to be affected seriously by COVID-19 or may even be asymptomatic, the Council’s concern is that they could take the virus home to potentially vulnerable relatives for whom coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal.

Commenting on the measures, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, Cllr John Joseph Kelly said: “It is important that our children get back to school and resume their education and I would like to thank all of our teachers, schools and education staff, parents and carers and the pupils themselves for working with us to achieve this as safely as possible.

“However, we know that since the Borough’s schools have re-opened, we have seen a number of class and year bubbles as well as school staff being sent home to isolate owing to positive test results or people showing coronavirus symptoms.

“I am pleased at the way each of these schools has dealt with the circumstances by following Public Health England guidelines and liaising with the Council to manage the situation.

“I hope these extra measures will help reduce the virus spreading in our school community and prevent more pupils and staff being sent home but if they don’t, we may have to contact schools about potential further measures.”

Mobile Testing Unit dates and locations in Sefton for the remainder September

Mobile coronavirus testing units have been scheduled to be at locations across Sefton through September .

If you have the COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell  – however mild – you should get a test.

Tests at mobile centres are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.

Mobile Testing Unit dates and locations for the remainder September are:

  • Wed 16 – Litherland
  • Thur 17 – Reserve (No scheduled MTU in Sefton)*
  • Fri 18 – Reserve (No scheduled MTU in Sefton)*
  • Sat 19 – Reserve (No scheduled MTU in Sefton)*
  • Sun 20 – Southport
  • Mon 21 – Litherland
  • Tue 22 – Crosby
  • Wed 23 – Crosby
  • Thur 24 – Reserve (No scheduled MTU in Sefton)*
  • Fri 25 – Reserve (No scheduled MTU in Sefton)*
  • Sat 26 – Southport
  • Sun 27 – Southport
  • Mon 28 – Crosby
  • Tue 29 – Crosby
  • Wed 30 – Crosby

*One of the Mobile Testing Unit teams is a reserve team,  and may deployed to other Merseyside locations on these days.

Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, are open from 8am to 8pm. You need an appointment from www.nhs.uk/coronavirus   or by calling 119 or the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.

The September dates for Mobile Testing Units , which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, follows on from a timetable that saw units deployed across Sefton Borough nearly every day in July and August.

 

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