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News Report Page 6 of 6
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The stabilisers are coming off on Monday, but we have to keep pedalling to ensure a smooth ride
Editorial by Dr Andrew Furber, Regional Director for Public Health England North West...

MONDAY will mark the most significant milestone in almost 16 months with the lifting of Covid19 legal restrictions and something resembling a return to normality. Social distancing and stay at home rules have been our stabilisers throughout the Pandemic, protecting us all and enabling us to suppress the virus at vital times to keep our NHS from being overwhelmed. Now, the success of the unprecedented vaccine rollout undertaken by our incredible NHS colleagues means those stabilisers can start to come off and we can get moving independently again. But as we pedal towards a life with fewer restrictions, we must be aware that Coronavirus is our new 'normal' and our battle with the virus continues.

Here in the North West, we still have a lot of work to do if we are to make this transition a smooth ride, because the virus will not suddenly disappear from 19 July 2021; and we still have some hills to climb. Case rates in the North West are increasing and they are expected to rise further over the coming weeks, especially as we mix more with others from Monday.  Although deaths and Hospitalisations are lower, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, Covid19 is a virus you really do not want to catch. It can still make you very sick, and many people suffering from long Covid are experiencing ill effects weeks and months after they tested positive. The risks of falling ill are especially great for those who have not yet had both doses of the vaccine; currently, approximately 61% of adults in the North West have had their second dose. Vulnerable groups are also at higher risk of more serious illness if they catch Covid and not everyone in this group will have been vaccinated.

From Monday, whilst there will no longer be a need to legally enforce rules like mask wearing and social distancing, the onus is now on the public to make informed decisions and use their judgement and common sense to keep themselves and others safe. Whilst we learn to live with the virus, we must carry on protecting each other in the same ways we have done over the past 16 months. Covid19 has not gone away and you could become severely unwell or pass on the virus to someone without knowing. We must all be sensible and consider risks to ourselves and others.

Getting both jabs is the best way to ensure strong protection against the virus, so it remains vital people keep coming forward for the vaccine. The more coverage we have, the more we minimise the impact of a rise in cases this summer. So do not hesitate to get yours, if you haven't already done so. Everyone over 18 can now book to have their first dose on the NHS portal.

Don't throw your masks away. If you're in crowded spaces or on public transport where it's difficult to keep your distance, please wear it, especially whilst rates are going up, as you may be carrying Covid19 without any symptoms and come into contact with unvaccinated people. If others around us are wearing a mask, let us be respectful and keep a distance - they may be feeling uneasy about the reopening. Let's be kind.

Remember to keep washing your hands thoroughly and more often than usual, especially before and after getting on public transport or getting in from work, shops or the pub. And if we know we are meeting up with friends and family, minimise the risk of passing on the virus by meeting outside as much as possible. Think about whether they are vulnerable and whether either of you had one or two doses of the vaccine. Get a test before you meet up.

Meetings others outside is much safer than indoors as the fresh air helps to blow the Covid19 particles away. So, make the most of the warm weather over the summer and meet family and friends outside.

If you work in an enclosed space or come into contact with lots of people, twice weekly lateral flow tests will continue to be available; as this really helps us to track infection and stop transmission. Make testing part of your routine; especially if you're going to come into contact with others. You can collect free rapid tests from your local pharmacy or order online.

If you are feeling unwell, don't risk passing on the virus and making others sick self isolate and get a PCR test. Ensuring these protections are a part of our everyday behaviours will control the transmission of the virus as we return to a more normal life. And by thinking of others, recognising these sensitivities and showing respect, we can make this transition safer for everyone.

North West residents have made huge personal sacrifices since the start of the Pandemic and our Region has been through difficulties we never expected to see. So, it is right that we look forward to Monday with anticipation and excitement, but also an awareness that this is not all over and we all still have a role to play in keeping each other safe. For more advice and guidance see:- Gov.UK/Guidance, about moving to step 4 of the UK's Roadmap.

New look Southport Market opens this coming Thursday!

THE brand new Southport Market will officially open its doors, on Thursday, 22 July 2021, in time for a scorching summer of tasty treats, thirst quenching drinks and much more. A host of traders, including a newly revealed Pacific Rim and Sushi inspired food stall by the Vincent Hotel, will be ready to welcome visitors to the incredible market space from 10am on 22 July 2021, following months of planning and refurbishment works. All 10 stalls and traders, as well as a feature bar and drinks space, have now been confirmed as residents of the North West's newest food and drink experience, combining an incredible mix of local talent from across Southport and an array of international delicacies at the heart of the resort's revamped market quarter. The ₤1.4m scheme, which is a key enabler and an early part of Sefton Council's Covid19 recovery plan for Southport, is also supported by a flexible events area able to host high quality pop up markets along with other events.

The full list of confirmed traders is as follows:-

Blackhurst Butchers

600 degrees (Pizzas, Italian)

Hector's Mexicana (Mexican street food)

Pacific By Vincent (Pacific Rim inspired foods)

Down and Oot (Canadian steaks, poutine, hot sandwiches)

King St. Bakery (Portuguese tarts)

Messy Moments (Desserts)

Birkdale Pie and Mash (Assorted pies)

Allotment – (American Burgers et al)

Pitamu (Greek and Mediterranean)

An incredible feature bar, described as the centrepiece of the new Southport Market crown, will be managed by the Mikhail Leisure group, famous for the successful Bold Hotel, Punch Tarmey's and much more. Andrew Mikhail, owner of The Mikhail group, said:- "Yet again, the great team at Sefton Council have had fabulous vision with their regeneration plans for the market. Not only creating jobs for locals but I am certain that this will bring people from far and wide to Southport."

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:- "This is a very exciting time and we cannot wait to welcome thousands of visitors through the Market's gates. We are delighted to see all the hard work of our Tourism team and partners coming to fruition and to be able to complete this project on time and to such an incredible standard is a testament to our commitment to Southport and Sefton. Every single trader comes to the market with a passion and desire to ensure this project is a success and we are confident this will be 1 of the North West's best food and drink gems. We look forward to working with our traders and stall holders at what is an iconic location in the heart of Southport and, most importantly, welcoming residents and visitors to enjoy the space we have worked so hard to create."

The Southport Market project has been led by Sefton Council and partners, supported by funding from the Liverpool City Region and Southport Town Deal.


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