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Liverpool City Region Covid19 Updates
... and Important Emergency Notices ...

YOU can get daily major and interesting news updates for the Liverpool City Region on our free email news service, via signing up on:- Formby Reporter.  If you have any updates to send in or any views on the posts on here, please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.


This page last updated on 05 January 2021


Southport BID is urging people to support local businesses as new national lockdown rules come into force this week

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of tough new restrictions, on Monday, 4 January 2021, in a bid to reverse the recent rise in Covid19 cases. They are expected to last until February ½ Term at least. Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald is advising people that many businesses in Southport still remain open, with others changing how they operate over the next few weeks.

She said:- "Everyone is united in our desire to do all we can to reduce the number of Covid19 cases while the vaccination programme is rolled out. We are facing a very tough few weeks ahead, but we hope to be able to emerge strongly in a few weeks' time. In the meantime, there are many local businesses in Southport which remain open with a wide range of Covid safe measures in place. These include essential retailers, such as:- food shops, supermarkets, garden centres, pharmacies and others. Other businesses, such as:- restaurants, cafes, bars and non-essential retail cannot allow customers into their premises over the next few weeks but can offer services such as click and collect, takeaway or home delivery. Supporting our local businesses in Southport this year is vital and I would encourage everyone to use them as much as you can."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced 1 off, top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to ₤9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. A ₤594 million discretionary fund also aims to support other impacted businesses.

Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "I would urge local business owners to apply for any financial support as soon as it becomes available. As more details emerge we will share these through our Southport BID social media channels."

Businesses which can remain open as the new national Covid lockdown begins includes:- estate agents, with people still able to move house.

They also include essential retail such as:- food shops, supermarkets and Pharmacies.

Garden centres were ordered to close during the last lockdown, but can remain open this time. Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs have to close, however they are able to provide food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click and collect and drive through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.

Non-essential shops, such as:- clothing and home ware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods can continue to be able to operate click and collect and delivery services.

The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:-

 Essential retail such as:- food shops, supermarkets, Pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off licences/

 Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open.

 Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services.

 Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.

 Banks, building societies, Post Offices, short term loan providers and money transfer businesses.

 Funeral Directors.

 Laundrettes and dry cleaners.

 Medical and dental services.

 Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals.

 Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)

 Agricultural supplies shops.

 Mobility and disability support shops.

 Storage and distribution facilities.

 Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.

 Outdoor playgrounds.

 Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise.

 Places of worship.

 Crematoria and burial ground.

 Waste or recycling centres.

 Getting an MOT, if you need to drive when lawfully leaving home.

Moving home:-


You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.

Financial support:-

Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help:-

 Financial support packages for businesses.

 Financial support for closed businesses as a result of tiering restrictions.

 Claim for employee wages through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

 Check if you can claim a grant through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

 Financial support if you're off work because of Coronavirus.

To read the latest Guidance, as of 4 January 2020, please click here now.
 


Joint statement from the Mayors of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester on BTEC exams

"OVER the past 24 hours we have been contacted by students, College Leaders, Head Teachers and parents who are confused and alarmed that the government announced a full national lockdown; including School and College closures; whilst maintaining that BTEC exams should continue as planned in January 2021. As mayors of regions that have been under restrictions for significant periods of time, we know only too well the challenges that our Schools and Colleges have faced in delivering teaching, while having to cope with repeated disruption as a result of Coronavirus outbreaks. It is unfair to ask these students to go into Colleges when everyone else is being told to stay at home and Schools and Colleges are closed to the majority of students. This will cause unnecessary anxiety and concern just when they need to be able to focus. Secondly, students in the Liverpool and Greater Manchester City Regions have faced restrictions for far longer, with more time being spent out of College, than students in other parts of the country, therefore these exams will not be a level playing field. These exams involve 130,000 students across the country and the whole of the FE sector is concerned that allowing them to go ahead, not only puts staff and students at risk, but once again demonstrates the continued lack of parity for BTEC students compared with those sitting A Levels and GCSES, and the divide that remains between vocational and academic education. BTECs are more likely to be studied by those from working class backgrounds and ethnic minority communities; groups which are already more vulnerable in terms of their life outcomes, including health inequalities. BTECs and other vocational qualifications are also key to supporting progression into higher education from areas; particularly in the North; that tend to be cold spots for University recruitment. To not treat these students on a par with their peers studying an academic route would be a double injustice. We do not believe it is right to go ahead with these exams when others have been cancelled and we urge the Government to listen to the concerns of College leaders from our City Regions, and across the country who are concerned about the fairness and practically of pressing ahead. Therefore, if ministers are unwilling to listen to the sector and continue with exams regardless, then they must put in place measures; including the weighting of results; to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by having to sit exams during a period of national lockdown." Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.
 


2 Star - Beauty and the Beast - Filmed Theatre Show available until 10 January 2021 online

THE St Helens Theatre Royal have announced they will return with their 5 star socially distanced production of Beauty and the Beast in February for the School ½ Term and tickets are on sale now.

Beauty and the Beast recently ran for the festive period from Friday, 11 December 2020 and was due to finish on Sunday, 3 January 2021, unfortunately due to a change in Tiers by the government, the show was forced to closed, on Wednesday, 30 December 2020. Patrons who had tickets for the final performances are being contacted directly to transfer their tickets to the new February dates. Credit notes and refunds are also available on request.

The Covid-safe show will now continue to run during the School ½ Term, from Saturday, 13 February 2021 to Sunday, 21 February 2021 and is sure to be another successful run. Patrons will be entitled to a full refund if the show cannot go ahead due to rules of a particular Tier.

Audiences who missed the show at Christmas can also have the option to enjoy the critically acclaimed production from the comfort of their own homes, a link to purchase tickets is available until Sunday, 10 January 2021, this was a specially filmed version of the performance on Christmas Eve.

St Helens Theatre Royal were 1 of the few venues across the UK who opened their doors for a Christmas pantomime after being closed for 9 months, due to the current Covid pandemic. The highly anticipated show proved to be a popular choice during the festive season and was praised by audience members and critics alike.

Theatre Royal manager Chantelle Nolan commented:- "We are thrilled to be able to bring back our popular Christmas production in February, we had huge demand for tickets, which were limited due to social distance measures in place. I am pleased that those people who missed the show, through no fault of their own can see the show again. We are proud to say that during our 36 show run, we didn't have a single positive case and no cases reported to us via the public or track and trace. Our staff and full company were tested on a regular basis and we were delighted to receive constant feedback from customers saying how safe they felt in the theatre. Also, we still have until this Sunday to catch the show online from the comfort of your own homes."

The full cast of Beauty and the Beast is as folows:- Jamie Greer as Potty Polly; Abigail Middleton as Madame Botox; Scott Gallagher as French Frank; Olivia Sloyan as Belle; Andrew Geater as The Beast; Tim Lucas as Gaston; and Jenna Sian O'Hara as Fairy Rose.

The show is directed by Chantelle Nolan, written by Liam Mellor, with choreography by Nazene Langfield, and Callum Clarke is musical supervisor.

Get ready to go on a family adventure with the fabulous family friendly pantomime, Beauty and the Beast. This is the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast. Will the Beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after?

For more information, please visit:- StHelensTheatreRoyal.Com.


New lockdown funds not enough to help small businesses in crisis

RESPONDING to the new lockdown grants being made available to small businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, in England, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Area Leader for Liverpool City Region, Michael Sandys, said:- "While this additional financial support will be a lifeline to 600,000 businesses and therefore is welcome, there remains need for a plan that matches the scale of the economic damage we are seeing. For many businesses already under the cosh and on the brink, it just won't be enough. These funds come after a disappointing festive period and with the imposition of a last minute lockdown; they do not go far enough to address the crisis that small firms are facing. There remain too many groups who need more support to weather this storm, such as the newly self employed, those in supply chains and company directors. We continue to call on the government to create a Directors Income Support Scheme, mirroring the Self Employed Support Scheme, in the form of a taxable grant for Directors of limited companies calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at ₤7,500. We also need to see the Government make clear its plans for more finance capabilities made available to those who have used their allocations through Bounce Bank Loans as well as extending the period before repayments begin. This lockdown is expected to last for some time, even when restrictions ease, many small firms will be unable to function fully, if at all. The Government should create a Spring Economy Plan to help firms get through to drive a vaccine enabled recovery. After clawing their way through 2020, the start of the new year looks set to be an even worse one for many small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. It is vital that we support them in every way possible until the crisis finally begins to ease."

The FSB has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, calling for a 5 point support plan for small firms impacted by the latest wave of Covid19 restrictions. The letter urges the Chancellor to commit to maintaining existing support schemes for as long as the business disruption continues, and calls for 5 specific national support measures:-

 Small Business Cash Grants; a 2nd round of 1 off grants of ₤10,000 through the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF), plus targeted grants of up to ₤25,000 for small firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and new help for the supply chain, administered through the business rates system in England.

 Revenue Loss Scheme; a German style scheme to reimburse small businesses for the financial impact of a significant loss in custom, whereby the Government would cover a percentage of lost revenue compared to the same time last year.

 Directors Income Support Scheme; a taxable grant for Directors of limited companies, calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, and capped at ₤7,500. This would mirror the existing framework offered by the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), avoiding the issues around dividends.

 Help for more recently self employed; an extension of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, at the end of January 2021, after the final date for self assessment Tax Returns, to include the use of a 2019/20 Tax Return in time to qualify for the SEISS 4th Grant. This would help around 300,000 newer self employed people who were left out of previous SEISS rounds.

 Emergency loans extension; greater financing ability for those who have used their allocations through Bounce Bank Loans, extending the period before repayments begin, and a student loans approach for debt repayment which means that loans are only paid when the company is profitable and can afford to do so.

FSB Area Leader for Liverpool City Region, Michael Sandys, said:- "We now need a new hand up from Government to help us get through what is fast becoming an enforced closure of much of the whole economy. Schemes such as the business rates 100% relief expire within weeks to be replaced by the next year's bills landing on the doorsteps of shuttered businesses. FSB wrote to the Chancellor just before Christmas with a 5 point plan to save the small business community and help it get through the toughest Quarter 1 of any year that they have ever faced, providing a bridge to a vaccine enabled recovery from Easter. This includes a full second round of ₤10,000/₤25,000 Small Business Cash Grants, a German style Revenue Loss Scheme, a Directors Income Support Scheme and help for the more recently self employed at the same time as the SEISS Grant, and extended repayment and limits for bounce back loans. It must not be forgotten that all this comes at a time where 69% of small businesses are now in debt, with 40% saying the level of debt is "unmanageable. Many are trying to navigate the UK's new trading relationship with the EU, which to avoid tariffs adds further bureaucracy and cost pressures. This is why support should be given to small businesses through ₤3,000 transition vouchers for tech, training or expertise."

FSB's latest policy paper:- 'A Fighting Chance,' shows that the proportion of small firms carrying some form of debt has risen from 56% to 69% as a result of the Covid19 Pandemic, with the share describing their debt as:- "unmanageable" up from 13% to 40%.

Small firms carrying debt when the Covid19 crisis struck were more than twice as likely to have taken on new debt (48%) than those with no pre-existing facilities (23%).

Those that have had to significantly adapt to survive this year's disruption were considerably more likely to have taken on fresh borrowing (45%) compared to those who have not been required to changed their business models (30%).

FSB's new data also highlights the concerning and continued dependence on personal finance products within the small business community. 47% of those carrying debt are using such facilities, including:- personal credit cards, overdrafts or loans, to support commercial operations.

Repayments on the ₤65 billion of debt that has been issued through the Government's emergency loan programmes will start to fall due in the Spring.

Of those small businesses carrying debt, 56% believe the option of converting facilities into a tax liability would benefit them. For those that describe their debt level as:- 'worrying' or 'significant,' the figure rises to 63%.

With the deadline for Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) repayments fast approaching the FSB, the UK's largest business group, is calling on the Treasury to:-

 Extend the VAT payment deferral window and grace period for BBLS facilities to March 2022.

 Facilitate extension of the BBLS Pay As You Grow model, which allows borrowers to extend the length of the loans, make interest only payments and request repayment holidays, to debt facilities outside of emergency schemes.

 Consider a range of innovative approaches to the future of emergency loan facilities, including conversion to tax liabilities and Employee Ownership Trusts.  
 


Total UK cases Covid19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

Not all data has been added due to Christmas.

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 58,784 cases and the total number now stand at:- 2,713,563 that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

The total number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:- 407, within 28 days of positive test, according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is:- 75,431, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with Covid19 on the death certificate:- 82,624.

The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 23,823. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 1,847 Daily number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 2,434.

In England, there are a total of:- 2,339,983 confirmed cases. North West - total of:- 390,166 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

 

Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-



Liverpool City Region
 
Nation Lockdown

National UK Restrictions

Liverpool, 30,444 confirmed cases.

720

Halton, 6,799 confirmed cases.

211

Knowsley, 10,017 confirmed cases. 252
Sefton, 13,812 confirmed cases.

294

St. Helens, 9,683 confirmed cases.

135

Wirral, 14,162 confirmed cases.

386

 
Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to100 101 over  



The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region, since start of the Pandemic, are as follows:-

 

 Blackburn with Darwen, 12,366 confirmed cases.

 Blackpool, 6,544 confirmed cases.

 Bolton, 17,822 confirmed cases.

 Bury, 12,192 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire East, 13,451 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire West and Chester, 13,477 confirmed cases.

 Lancashire, 63,562 confirmed cases.

 Manchester, 37,208 confirmed cases

 Oldham, 17,288 confirmed cases.

 Preston, 9,000 confirmed cases.

 

 Rochdale, 15,308 confirmed cases.

 Salford, 16,029 confirmed cases.

 Stockport, 13,471 confirmed cases.

 Tameside, 12,350 confirmed cases.

 Trafford, 11,201 confirmed cases.

 Warrington, 11,445 confirmed cases

 Wigan, 20,299 confirmed cases.
 

Total UK people who have received vaccination

Pfizer / BioNTech

1st Dose 2nd Dose
944,539 Not yet disclosed
Oxford University / AstraZeneca
Not yet disclosed Not yet disclosed

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.   Daily and cumulative numbers of Covid19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected Covid19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.

 

The latest R number is estimated at:- 1.1 to 1.3 with a daily infection growth rate range of:- +1% to +6%, as of 23 December 2020.
 


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