Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions for Merseyside yesterday following a drastic rise in new cases throughout the region.
Here’s what the new restrictions mean for Southport are the surrounding areas:
What are the new rules?
Residents in Merseyside, Warrington, and Lancashire will be prevented from socialising with anyone who does not live in their household or social bubble in homes or gardens.
Venues in the hospitality industry are limited to table service only and will be forced to closed between 10pm and 5am every day until restrictions are lifted.
Residents are also advised to only use public transport for travelling to work or school, and to avoid attending sporting events as an audience member.
When will the restrictions begin and how long will they last?
The measures for Merseyside come into effect at 00:01am on Tuesday morning.
The situation will regularly be reviewed and restrictions will be lifted when the number of cases starts to fall.
For instance, Aberdeen had restrictions imposed in August but were lifted just weeks later.
How will the measures be enforced?
Sefton Council has the authority to:
– Close specific premises such as shops, cafes and gyms
– Shut outdoor spaces such as parks, beaches and playgrounds
– Cancel events such as weddings, concerts and sporting events
Central government can:
– Close sectors or types of premises
– Introduce localised ‘stay at home’ orders
– Reduce the maximum number of people gathering
– Restrict transport usage
– Stop people leaving a certain area, though this has not yet been enforced in the Merseyside restrictions
Can I leave the area?
Residents are fully permitted to leave the restriction areas, though the government has said they hope a sense of civic duty will be enough to convince people to stay at home.
However, the rules still apply around mixing with other households even if they live outside the restriction areas.
What are the punishments for breaking the rules?
Police officers have legal authority to issue instructions that make individuals or businesses comply with any coronavirus legislation. Failure to adhere to these instructions can see a £100 fine issued, with the amount doubling for each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.
Should I get a coronavirus test?
The entire country is currently experiencing capacity issues in laboratories conducting coronavirus tests, and people are being urged to take a test only when you experience any symptoms.
For more information on coronavirus testing in Sefton visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/miscellaneous-pages/coronavirus-testing.aspx