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This page last updated on 20
Reminder not to party on
Monday night ahead of new Coronavirus restrictions
SEFTON Council's Director of
Public Health Margaret Jones has appealed to Sefton residents to show restraint
and not to 'party hard' before new Coronavirus restrictions are
introduced from Tuesday. Mrs Jones said:- "Of course, with this news of
further restrictions some people will be tempted to go out and celebrate before
they kick in, but I would again urge them not to as they could be putting
themselves and their vulnerable relatives at risk. As people party more, they
tend to become less inhibited and we can not forget the need for:- social
distancing, mask wearing and frequent and thorough hand washing, all of which
are key to preventing the spread of the Covid19 virus when we're out and about.
While those people may be younger, meaning they are probably less likely to
affected badly by COVID-19 and are less worried about the pandemic, the risk is
that they could take the virus home to relatives for whom Coronavirus could be
very serious or even fatal if they are vulnerable or elderly. Our pubs, bars and
restaurants will still be open on Wednesday and if we all remember the rules,
they can stay that way as we get the infection numbers back down."
AS the UK Parliament struggles to
get on top of the UK's response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Government has
consistently come under fire for its lack of early preparation to tackle the
virus, and all the mess around the Test and Trace system, plus a growing list of
other issues. Amid deepening concern over the rise in cases, the Government
seems to be puzzled as to why people are confused about the rules. Announcing
the yet more new rules on 19 September 2020, Mr Johnson said:- "The best
way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self
isolating if they're at risk of passing on Coronavirus."
Now people who refuse an order to self isolate, within England, will face fines
of up to ₤10,000. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has also warned of more
restrictive measures as the UK:- "faces a tipping point."
The toughening up of the regulations is
designed to help stop the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable
from becoming infected, but businesses and health leaders are being left
stumped, as the Government seems to flounder around like a beached whale.
A local business leader in Southport
commented:- "They only concerned with grabbing headlines and not engaging
with reality. On 29 August, when they said:- "Go back to work or risk losing
your job" and then on 19 September, with the headlines:- "₤10,000 fine for
leaving your house." And you wonder why people are no longer paying any
On top of all this, we are also told
that Ministers are still looking at further restrictions, including a temporary
2 or 3 week "circuit break" in an attempt to break the chain of
transmission. In the defence of the Government, we are experiencing an
exceptional and unprecedented situation, that is fast moving and changing by the
minute, but that is why we need clear statements and proper information, not
rhetoric, that is continually being churned out by Number 10.
The powers that be appear to be
continuing to fail to support many on lower incomes along with many already
falling through the support net. They face even more problems ahead, as people
weigh the need to work with the need to obey the law. Some have suggested that
the Government should reward people for self isolating, when needed, by paying
them minimum wage, for 30hrs per week, over that period, no matter what their
normal income is, in a scheme like Statutory Sick Pay, but not the ₤95.85 per
week, paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks, if you're too ill to work.
Well could you live on just ₤95.85 per week? Also, this should cover everyone in
employment, not just employees, with the Government acting as employer if
someone isn't covered by a PAYE scheme.
At the same time as the Government
announced that along with significant toughening up of the regulations, those on
lower incomes, who face a loss of earnings as a result of going into quarantine,
will be eligible for a 1 off support payment of ₤500 to help them cope
financially. But it appears this will still not help some who have already
excluded from existing support. As a result of these latest developments,
Liverpool City Region's Mayor, Steve Rotheram, the Mayor of Greater Manchester,
Andy Burnham and General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O'Grady
are now calling on the Government to offer proper financial support to people
who have to self isolate, but can't work from home. Andy Burnham commented
that:- "It looks like the Government has woken up to the problem, but we
will be studying the detail closely."
Many have also criticised the
application systems for being too complex and confusing. With wording in press
releases by Government adding to the confusion, including the wording over the
furlough scheme. The furlough scheme, created by the Government to
safeguard workers' jobs during the Coronavirus Pandemic, allows employers to
claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at ₤2,500 a month, up to the
end of October 2020. Poorly worded statement has lead to a huge host of issue
like:- "The furlough scheme allows volunteering or training so long as it
does not provide services or profit for the employer." Also other
issues like perhaps the word "furlough" has too much of a
connotation of "vacation" or "rest" and the use of
an uncommon word has added to the confusion around it, leading to allegations of
wide spread furlough fraud, following concerns by HMRC that the system was being
TUC Regional Secretary Jay McKenna,
commenting on new Coronavirus restrictions announcement for the North West,
said:- "The announcement from the Government, on toughening up of the
regulations was expected. But it still causes real concerns for public health
and the economy across the North West. Many will be asking what this latest
pronouncement means, and will it have a very real impact on millions of workers
and their families? They will be worried about their health and their jobs. The
Government must step up to protect public health issues. We need an effective
testing and tracing system, and those who are sick or self isolating whilst they
might be waiting days for a test need proper sick pay. We've been clear that the
current rate of Statutory Sick Pay (₤95.85 per week) is not enough to live on.
Matt Hancock himself said he couldn't afford to do so. Increasing this will help
people do the right thing to protect public health, and prevent people falling
into financial hardship. And the government has to step in and protect jobs.
With furlough due to end, many are already worried about the future. They must
do more to protect industries and local areas affected by Coronavirus
Issues are also being raised widespread
about the ridiculous distances people are being asked to travel for Covid19
tests. Is it really sensible to have potentially infective and possibly not in a
fit state to drive, being told to go to testing centres as far away as over 200
miles? We have heard of a number of incidents of people travelling over 100
miles! Worse still 1 person reported they were told to go to the Isle of Wight
from the Liverpool City Region! Interestingly, national headlines have also
pointed out that the new Coronavirus testing app doesn't know Isle of Wight is
an island! Another was referred to Scotland.
Unions and businesses are still shouting
at the Government to extend the furlough scheme so that vulnerable workers are
not forced to quit their jobs or work in unsafe conditions. Many
businesses are worried that if vulnerable people may be forced to return to work
when it is not really safe for them to do so. Their employers could be opening
themselves up to being sued or fined under Covid Safe rules, which are
impossible to implement in some cases. Also, if they let the vulnerable
employees go, the business could face going under, due to the cost of
redundancy. Under these circumstances, the business community, trade unions and
charities are stepping up their calls on the Government to wake up and extend
the furlough scheme so that vulnerable people do not have to return to work if
an employer deems it is not safe!
A Southport shop owner who doesn't want to be named, as he don't want to add to
worry of his affected employees, said:- "We have no way out. We are dammed
if we do and dammed if we don't. No wonder why people are just ignoring the
Government. I have need no help personally, yet I'm forced to run the business.
My employees are mostly furloughed as social distancing and health issues
prevent them from returning. What do I do? If I'm ill, the business will fail,
that will take out 4 jobs in the process. If I close up, then I will be made
bankrupt by redundancy payments and if I stay open..... I just can't win."
What are your thoughts on the Government's support of Small Businesses? If you
have any views on the tropics coved within this report, please email us to:-
Total UK cases COVID19 cases
in and around Liverpool City Region
number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been
laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 3,899
cases and the total number now stand at:- 394,257, that
includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are
not included in the 4 National totals.
The number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the
total, was sadly reported to be 18 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 41,777.
The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:-
1,081. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in
mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 134. Daily
number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 138.
In England, there are a total of 339,901 confirmed cases.
North West - total of 68,105 confirmed cases.
The number of laboratory-confirmed cases within the
Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
Area and number
11 to 20
21 to 30
31 to 40
41 to 50
number of laboratory confirmed cases within
Local Authorities around the Liverpool City
Region are as follows:-
with Darwen, 2,309 confirmed cases.
Cheshire East, 2,658
Cheshire West and Chester, 2,407
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.
Previous 24hr Data
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