Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-08-08

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Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates
... & Important Emergency Notices ...

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This page last updated on 8 August 2020

Multi million pound funding package for School transport

THOUSANDS of students will be supported with new dedicated School and College transport to get them to School or College in the autumn term, the Education Secretary has announced. Delivering on the national priority for all children and young people to return to full time education in September 2020, local Transport Authorities will receive more than ₤40 million funding for the 2020 Autumn Term. This funding will help them create extra capacity and allow hundreds of thousands more students to use alternatives to public transport, while social distancing measures remain in place. We will review further arrangements in the future should it be necessary. Students and staff who have the option to walk, cycle or use a scooter are encouraged to do so, benefitting from ₤2 billion of Government investment to increase active travel. This will be supported by a new campaign due to be launched shortly to reduce demand on public transport at peak times and minimise overcrowding.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:- "Ahead of delivering on the national priority of all children and young people returning to full time education in September, I am asking every staff member and student to plan now how they will get to School or College. If it is possible to walk or cycle, please do. While our public transport system has almost returned to full service, I know thousands of people will choose to get active and find alternative modes of transport, because with distancing measures still in place it is important that we all play our part to ensure everyone is able to get to School safely, and on time. For those that have no other option than public transport, this investment for local Authorities will mean more students will be able to travel on dedicated home to School and College transport, creating even more capacity where it is needed most."

Local Transport Authorities will be allocated the funding to reflect the number of children and young people in the local area and how far they have to travel. This includes students travelling to education or training, as well as anyone supervising or escorting students to education provision. Students returning to further education in September will also benefit from this investment. Local Authorities should work with providers and set out their travel arrangements for 16 to 19 year olds, taking into account that students in further education often rely more on public transport and travel further to get there.

Local Authorities continue to have a statutory duty to provide free home to School transport for all eligible children of compulsory School age, including children who attend their nearest suitable and whose special educational needs and disabilities mean they are unable to walk there. This will continue alongside the offer of other modes of transport for more students. The Department for Transport has also today announced further funding for the bus and light rail sectors to help increase services ahead of expected increase in public transport use in September 220.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:- "Today’s funding will allow local Authorities to procure dedicated extra capacity in our transport system to help students get back to their Colleges and Schools in time for the education restart in September 2020. But we need everyone to do their bit and help even further by cycling or walking where they can, whether they’re a student going back to School or a parent commuting into work. We’re making sure people have the support they need to do that, with ₤2 billion of investment backing our ambitious new Cycling and Walking plan unveiled by the Prime Minister."

Local Authorities will be provided with new detailed guidance, which has been developed with the sector and Public Health England, which sets out details they need to plan for transport arrangements in September 2020. The support package announced today reaffirms that it is a national priority for all children and young people return to full time education in September 2020.

Responding to the announcement by the Department for Transport that emergency bus and tram funding will be extended and by the Department for Education on funding for home to school transport provision, Cllr David Renard, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said:- "It is good further funding has been announced for bus services and light rail, which have a critical role to play in the national recovery from COVID-19 and beyond, through supporting local economies, tackling poor air quality and congestion and reaching the country’s net zero carbon targets by 2050. However, these need long term funding to support future provision. The most effective way forward would be for the Government to give Councils oversight of local bus services, so they can ensure effective targeting of any public funding. We are pleased funding has been announced to support home to school transport and it will be important for the Government to work closely with schools and Councils to ensure that the costs of covering extra transport capacity are fully covered."

Home is where the harm is (or could be) warns Sefton Council's Health Chief

SEFTON Council's Interim Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones, reminder about the need to remain COVID-19 vigilant at home, Sefton’s Interim Director of Public Health has added her voice to those of the region’s Public Health Directors urging people to ensure they use face coverings in shops, takeaways and public transport, avoid crowds and keep to social distancing of 2 metres. The plea from Directors of Public Health, who are now leading the local response to COVID outbreaks, comes as COVID cases are increasing in some communities. There have been several outbreaks across the region and working with the NHS and Public Health England, Directors have deployed additional mobile testing units to pick up positive cases. Contacts of positive cases can then be traced to prevent a further spread of the virus. Local Authorities have been working hard with partners dealing with settings involved in outbreaks and helping them operate safely.

Mrs Jones said:- "Unless they are exempt, it is so important people protect themselves and others by wearing a face covering, keeping a distance of 2 metres and regularly washing their hands. We have seen people incorrectly wearing face coverings so they must cover your nose and mouth, you should only handle your mask with clean hands. We want to prevent local lockdowns and protect frontline services who will need to deal with illness as a result of COVID-19. We really need people to support us by doing everything they can to help keep our families, friends and communities safe."

If you do develop symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell) you can obtain a test. It's easy to make an appointment by just visiting:- NHS.UK or calling:- 119. If your test is positive you must follow the guidance including self isolating for 10 days and members of your household self-isolating for 14 days. The Government's latest guidance is a:- Gov.UK/Coronavirus.

Travel advice for Ireland

THE Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all, but essential international travel to Ireland. This was announced in an updated issued on 8 August 2020. They also say that additional local restrictions are in place, in 3 counties:- Kildare, Laois and Offaly, since midnight, 7 August 2020; and further information can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Government extends Coronavirus support for buses and trams, as total funding tops ₤700 million

ENGLAND'S bus and tram services will receive extra support worth up to ₤256 million to help them ramp up services ahead of expected increases in public transport use in September, the Government has announced on Saturday, 8 August 2020. Bus services across the country will receive up to ₤218.4 million of support over the next 8 weeks, with rolling funding at up to ₤27.3 million per week afterwards until a time when the funding is no longer needed. Alongside this, tram services have access from today to up to ₤37.4 million investment over 12 weeks, at a rate of up to ₤3.1 million a week, with funding to be reviewed at the end of the 12 week period. Currently, passenger numbers on bus and light rail services are significantly below normal levels, despite the bus network now running at over 80% of normal service levels, and the 5 light rail systems running at similar levels. The funding announced on the 8 August 2020 will enable operators to mitigate the impact of the loss of revenue, while continuing to build back to normal service levels. The latest round of funding; key to safely getting young people back in education settings and workers back to their offices; means total support during the pandemic for bus and tram services will reach at least ₤700 million. This follows the ₤421 million already provided for buses and the ₤56 million provided for trams during the pandemic.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:- "As we continue to open up the economy, more people are using public transport and need sufficient service levels in order to travel safely. That’s why we took swift action at the start of this outbreak to ensure that these services were maintained for key workers then; and would still be there for people when the economy opened back up. This extension of funding pushes our overall support past ₤700 million, meaning people across the country will have access to the transport services they need."

CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler added:- "Continued social distancing measures mean capacity on buses remains reduced and income from passenger fares is still significantly lower than normal. This latest funding will help us keep running a comprehensive bus network that millions of people rely on. Bus operators remain committed to working with government, passengers, businesses and local authorities to provide a safe, flexible and sustainable bus network for local communities."

Further to this funding, the Government is also actively working on ways to ensure the bus sector can operate independently and be commercially viable. The Government is committed to a sustainable future for bus services across the country recognising the services are vital to millions of people’s everyday lives. To ensure future bus services work for everyone, the Government will publish a National Bus Strategy, to set out how Government plans to support this vital sector going forward.  All bus operators in England outside London who previously claimed the Bus Service Operators Grant, as well as operators who run services tendered by Local Authorities, are eligible to claim the new funding and future provisional funding. 5 tram services in the:- North and Midlands; West Midlands Metro, Sheffield Supertram, Manchester Metrolink, Tyne and Wear Metro and Nottingham Trams; will be supported by the light rail funding, with the money going directly to operators, as with the previous rounds.

'Local Enhanced Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions' imposed in Preston

FRANCES Mortimer, from Fabulous Farm Shops has put a list of farm shops that they have been told are participating in the 'Eat Out to Help Out'scheme, that they know about. The nearest to Merseyside so far are:- 1 farm shop located in Lancashire:- Barton Grange Farm Shop Barton Grange Garden Centre, Brock, Preston, PR30BT, call:- 01995642900 and 3 located in Cheshire:- Cheerbrook Farm Shop   Shavington, ​Willaston, Nantwich, CW57EL, call:- 01270666431; The Lambing Shed Farm Shop Moseley Hall Farm, Chelford Rd, Knutsford, WA168RB, call:- 01565 631027 and Nixon's Farm Shop Bolshaw Road, Heald Green, Cheadle, SK83PS, call:- 01614374801. But please be aware, if you are travelling outside your area, that in the North West of England, some areas, like in Lancashire, local Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions are in place. To check restrictions in your area and areas you are wanting to visit, please go to:- Gov.UK.

Total UK cases COVID-19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

THE total UK daily number of lab-confirmed positive test results:- 758. The total overall UK lab-confirmed positive test results:- 309,763. Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:- 55, with the total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result now standing at:- 46,566. In England, there are a total of 758 new daily cases and 309,763 confirmed cases since the outbreak. North West - total of 47,818 confirmed cases. The number of COVID-19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 1,067. The current number of COVID-19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 67. Daily number of COVID-19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 142. Due to new UK Government system of reporting we are having to sort out a new system to bring you the local area results, for the Liverpool City Region and surrounding areas.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-


► Liverpool, 2,625 confirmed cases.


► Sefton, 1,587 confirmed cases.


► Wirral, 2,081 confirmed cases.


► St. Helens, 1,224 confirmed cases

Knowsley, 1,034 confirmed cases.


► Halton, 713 confirmed cases.


► Blackpool, 1,060 confirmed cases.


► Blackburn with Darwen, 1,523 confirmed cases.


► Bolton, 2,070 confirmed cases.


► Bury, 1,400 confirmed cases.


► Cheshire West and Chester, 2,065 confirmed cases.


► Cheshire East, 2,279 confirmed cases.


► Lancashire, 7,374 confirmed cases.


► Manchester, 3,483 confirmed cases.


► Oldham, 2,315 confirmed cases.


Preston, 1,284 confirmed cases.


► Rochdale, 1,948 confirmed cases.


Salford, 1,535 confirmed cases.


► Stockport, 1,814 confirmed cases.


► Tameside, 1,687 confirmed cases.


► Trafford, 1,479 confirmed cases.


Warrington, 1,358 confirmed cases


► Wigan, 2,209 confirmed cases.

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