Council responds to Merseyside being added to Government’s COVID watchlist

Responding to today’s announcement that Merseyside has been identified by the Government as one of two new areas of concern owing to rising number of COVID-19 cases, Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher said:

“In the light of this news, it’s essential that every single one of Sefton’s residents and businesses continue the great efforts they have made already to prevent us going into lockdown.

“The willingness and efforts of local people and the vast majority of the Borough’s businesses to follow the guidelines and implement the measures required have been impressive and were reflected in low numbers of cases recently. However, this current rise is a cause for concern.

“Infections in Sefton are spread across the Borough through people’s familiar social networks, whether at home, at work or out and about and while we are seeing cases being reported in people of all ages, those in the working age group from 20-60 are prevalent.

“Those people may be only mildly affected by COVID-19 and some are asymptomatic, but our real concern is how these people can still spread the infection, including to their loved ones at home who may be vulnerable and far more seriously affected.

“It’s vital that local people continue with social distancing and follow the Government’s recently revised guidelines restricting indoor meetings to members of two different households and keeping numbers at outdoor gatherings to a maximum of six. Wearing masks and face coverings where required and frequent, thorough hand-washing are also crucial.

“Sefton’s businesses need to ensure they are protecting their customers and staff by having all the required measures in place, including Test and Trace arrangements for pubs, bars and restaurants, distancing and cleaning procedures and face coverings where required.

“Also, we need those people who develop the coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, or 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. They just need to visit  or call 119 to make an appointment at their nearest available Test Centre.  Home testing kits are also available on request.”

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

“We really appreciate the huge efforts and sacrifices Sefton’s population and business have made to work with us to protect vulnerable people across our communities. Now we need them to continue those efforts and prevent tighter restrictions being re-introduced.