Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-07-02

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

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This page last updated on 2 July 2020

Coronavirus Mobile Test Sites in both Litherland and Southport over the weekend

THE Coronavirus Mobile Test Sites in Sefton area will be at Southport Eco Centre and Litherland Sports Park from Saturday, 4 July to Monday, 6 July 2020. Supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, Mobile Test Sites are providing clinical diagnosis tests to tell people if they currently have the Covid-19 virus. Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment 1st online or by calling:- 119. Essential workers still need to book through:- Gov.UK. Key NHS and care workers can now attend regional testing sites, which now include the new site at Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as Haydock and Manchester Airport without the need for an appointment. Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and enables key workers who test negative to return to that work. Almost 4,200 people have already been tested so far at Sefton’s Mobile Test Sites, which have been supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG. Through the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service, anyone who tests positive for Coronavirus will be contacted and will need to share information about their recent interactions. It is really important you follow the NHS guidance to stop the spread of Coronavirus in Sefton. Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service on the NHS website.

Visitors urged to follow the Countryside Code as tourism businesses reopen

WITH thousands of visitors expected to flock to the countryside this weekend as tourism businesses in England reopen, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is urging people to follow the Countryside Code during their visit. The Countryside Code aims to help everyone respect other people, protect the natural environment and enjoy the outdoors. It is there to ensure visitors enjoy the countryside safely by planning ahead of their visit, maintaining social distancing, keeping dogs away from livestock, leaving gates as they find them, taking litter home and avoiding having barbecues in public spaces. The CLA, which represents 30,000 farmers, landowners and rural businesses across England and Wales, sees the upcoming holiday period as a real opportunity for visitors to make the most of the beautiful countryside.

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:- "This weekend we will see tourism businesses in England begin to re-open, and with international travel still restricted we expect a large number of people to head into rural areas for a break. Our message is clear. People are hugely welcome in the countryside, and we want to help them to enjoy it safely and responsibly. We believe this is a fantastic opportunity both for our regular visitors and for the many 1st timers. We know the countryside can do wonders for people's mental and physical health, and it can also help them understand the natural environment, including how food is produced in Britain."

The CLA has produced an array of graphics which capture some of the key rules to follow in the countryside. Download them here.

Schools and colleges to reopen in full in September

DETAILED plans have been unveiled for all children and young people to return to full time education from September 2020. Current restrictions on group sizes will be lifted to allow:- Schools, Colleges and Nurseries to fully reopen to all children and young people, as Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall.

Covid-19 secure measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, with Schools being asked to keep children in class or year group sized 'bubbles' and encourage older children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible. This is alongside protective measures such as regular cleaning and hand washing.

Where there is a positive case in a School or College, the Public Health England local health protection team will advise on the appropriate action, which could include small groups of young people and staff being asked to self isolate for up to 14 days.

Where there are two or more confirmed cases in a 2 week period, health protection teams may ask a larger number of other children or young people to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.

Where an outbreak in a School is confirmed, for specific detailed investigations a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person's class, followed by their year group, then the whole School if necessary.

All staff, pupils and their families will continue to have access to testing if they develop Covid-19 symptoms and Schools will be provided with easy to use home testing kits for children and staff who would otherwise be unable to get a test.

Schools will be expected to have plans in place to offer remote education to pupils who are self isolating.

For Nurseries, childminders, and other early years providers, restrictions on group sizes will be lifted from 20 July 2020, increasing capacity from the start of the summer holiday.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:- "I know these past three months have been some of the most challenging that Schools have faced. What they have achieved to make sure that young people are kept safe and can continue to learn during this period is remarkable, and I am incredibly grateful for that. Nothing can replace being in the classroom, so ever since Schools, Colleges and Nurseries closed to most children, we have been working hard to ensure they can reopen as soon as possible. We have already seen more than 1.5 million children and young people return, but we must make sure all pupils can go back to School in September, giving them the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential. I want to reassure parents and families that we are doing everything we can to make sure Schools, Nurseries, Colleges and other providers are as safe as possible for children and staff, and will continue to work closely with the country's best scientific and medical experts to ensure that is the case."

The guidance published on 2 July 2020, provides Schools, Colleges and Nurseries with the details needed to plan for a full return, as well as reassuring parents about what to expect for their children. The guidance has been developed in close consultation with the sector and medical experts from Public Health England.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jenny Harries, said:- "Thanks to the hard work of everyone, including our teachers and all School staff, there has been a decline in the rate of COVID-19 transmission in our communities. A child's education is essential to their healthy development; we know that missing too much School can have a negative impact on children's mental and physical wellbeing. Everybody wants children to be safe and thankfully as we have learned more about COVID-19, the evidence has shown that the risk of severe disease in children is low. However, although the number of COVID-19 cases has declined, it is still in general circulation; so it important we ensure Schools implement sensible precaution to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19 and minimise any risk to teachers and their pupils."

Schools will need to work with families to secure full attendance from the start of the new academic year, with the reintroduction of mandatory attendance.

To ensure pupils can catch up on lost learning, Schools will be required to resume teaching a broad and balanced curriculum in all subjects, making use of existing flexibilities to create time to address gaps in knowledge. Schools should consider how all subjects can contribute to filling gaps in core knowledge.

This will help pupils catch up and will work alongside the financial support provided to primary and Secondary Schools through the Government's ₤1 billion Covid catch up package. This is on top of the ₤14 billion that we are investing in Schools over the next 3 years.

Exams will take place in 2021 and Ofqual is consulting on arrangements for those exams, including measures to mitigate any impact on pupils from time out of School.

Alongside this, Ofsted will carry out visits to Schools in the autumn term to discuss how they are supporting the return to education for their pupils, with routine inspections planned to restart in January 2021.

Nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, have already been welcoming back children of all ages since 1 June 2020, with a range of protective measures in place. From 20 July, restrictions on group sizes for Nurseries, childminders and other early years providers will be lifted, increasing capacity for more children to return, as set out in updated guidance.

The Schools guidance sets out a range of measures to protect children and staff. This guidance applies to all mainstream Schools, alternative provision, independent Schools and boarding Schools and sets out advice on how they can minimise contact and mixing. Separate guidance has also been published for special Schools.

Schools should implement class or year sized bubbles, as well as encouraging staff and pupils, where they are able, to keep their distance from each other and avoiding touching. All Schools should work to implement other policies in line with their own risk assessment and in a way that ensures pupils can be taught a broad and balanced curriculum. Other measures set out in the guidance include:-

Teachers to distance from each other and older students where possible.

Increasing the frequency of cleaning.

Reducing the use of frequently shared items.

Minimising contact in corridors.

Click here to see the full Guidance that has been issued.

Responding to the Government's plans for all children and staff to return to School as normal from September, Cllr Teresa Heritage, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said:- "The Government's guidance provides Schools and Councils with a framework to reopen Schools safely from September, but they will now need the space and time to work locally to draw up detailed plans. Councils want all children to return to School to continue with their education and we also want to work with the Government, education leaders and Schools to make sure the national effort is a success. It is therefore vitally important that the Department for Education provides the reassurance that parents need to send children back to School, and remains in dialogue with School leaders to tackle outstanding issues, such as the provision of home-to-School transport and sanctions for non-attendance, and work with Schools and parents to secure full attendance in September. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have shown that by working together we can achieve the best outcomes for our communities. As we look to return to normal, Councils want to continue working closely with the Government and local partners to address practical issues and to provide any necessary resources. Councils can play a key role in the Government's Test and Trace programme and it is therefore important to give Councils the powers to manage outbreaks in Schools if new COVID-19 clusters emerge."

Reaction from Steve Rotheram to today's Local Government funding announcement

TODAY Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region was 1 of many to give their reactions to the Local Government funding announcement, given by Robert Jenrick today on Local Government Finance. In an email to us he said:- "It's good to see the Government recognising the vital work of Local Authorities in responding to COVID-19 and the financial impact this has had. But, while the extra funding announced today is welcome, it looks like it is nowhere near enough to cover the actual costs our area has incurred. We will be able to make a full judgement when we have the detail, but this appears to be guaranteeing that Councils will not recover at least a quarter of their lost revenues. The Government promised it would provide Councils with 'whatever it takes' but if this is supposed to be the comprehensive funding package which we have been promised, then it falls far short of what we need. I'm hoping that it is just another instalment, and if so, the Government needs to make that clear. Our 6 Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region have responded magnificently to the challenge of Coronavirus but they can't be expected to carry on living "hand to mouth". As we laid out directly to the Prime Minster in our "Case for the City Region" report at the end of May, COVID-19 has cost our Local Authorities ₤341 million in 6 months in extra expenditure and lost revenue. As yet, we have received no response. We'll also need to understand the funding formula that the Government has used. It is vital that allocations are based on the actual level of need for each Authority, rather than just population numbers, and that is particularly important for us in the Liverpool City Region, as we have been hit harder by COVID-19 than many other areas."

Also responding to the funding package announced today to help Councils through the COVID-19 crisis, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:- "Councils continue to work all day and night to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19, support local businesses and try and keep normal services running. This package offers some positive measures and recognises the pressures Councils are facing, but more is desperately needed to fully address the severe financial challenges facing Councils and our local services as a result. The Government's commitment to fund a portion of Councils lost income from fees and charges is a step in the right direction. However, this does not cover the full losses, nor does it extend to commercial and other income losses and is likely to still leave Councils having to absorb a substantial and unforeseen loss of funding, in particular the loss of local taxes. We reiterate our call to Government to meet all extra cost pressures and income losses from fees and charges and other sources, including commercial activity, in full if Councils are to avoid having to make tough decisions on in year cuts to services to meet their legal duty to set a balanced budget this year. Allowing Councils to spread tax deficits over 3 years will help but needs to go together with appropriate measures to manage any cash flow implications. We are pleased with the commitment to find a solution to the loss of local taxes in the Spending Review. In order to have the certainty they need to set budgets for next year, Councils still need urgent clarity on the irrecoverable losses the Government has positively said it will pick up. This will need to cover all losses from local taxes. The further ₤500 million extra funding to help Councils meet extra COVID-19 costs pressures is helpful but, in the context of the funding gap Councils still face, substantial additional funding will be needed and we await further details on how this money will be distributed. Councils have been completing detailed monthly returns to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the financial challenges they face. This shows the Government is committed to fully understanding the impact the pandemic and the robust evidence provided by Councils shows a looming financial crisis that cannot be ignored. Councils and the LGA want to continue working with Government on the further measures and funding needed to protect local services."

Chief Inspector of Constabulary says:- "43 Forces model needs reform, Police need secure investment conditions to get ahead of crime and the UK's Home Office 'hands on' policy is necessary for efficiency"

IN HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor annual assessment of Policing in England and Wales for 2019, he recognised the sensitivity and dedication of the Police service in collaboratively responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. He encourages Police Forces to continue to work in collaboration in order to provide a more effective and efficient service to the public.

On Policing the COVID-19 pandemic, Sir Thomas Winsor said:- "COVID-19 has tested Police Forces in dealing with the lockdown, the greatest curtailment of individual freedom this country has ever known. To its great credit, the service has responded well. The initial and rare inconsistencies and mistakes over how the lockdown measures were applied were soon eclipsed by the commendable sensitivity and proportionality of Officers towards their fellow citizens, through explanation and encouragement well before enforcement. Very regrettably, as lockdown conditions have been relaxed, the Police now face a harder task. In some cases, they have been faced with resistance and violence. They have also faced violence when Policing public demonstrations. Nothing justifies violence. Police Officers are our fellow citizens, doing the tough work we ask them to do, in hazardous and demanding conditions, to keep us safe. Hard enforcement against those who assault Police Officers and other public service workers should be firm and fast. The national Police leadership which has intensified because of the pandemic has been welcome, and that greater degree of co-operation amongst Police Leaders and Forces must be maintained."

In his assessment Sir Thomas also explores where further reform is needed in order to meet the current and future demands placed on the Police service.

On the 43 Force Policing structure in England and Wales, Sir Thomas said:- "There is an increasingly pressing need to develop an effective and efficient single system of law enforcement, with clear local, regional and national components. There is an important role for the Home Office to play, particularly in making regional and national functions work more efficiently and effectively, whilst respecting local conditions and priorities. The lines on the map that delineate Force boundaries too often act as barriers to the exchange of intelligence, to co-operation, and to true effectiveness and efficiency. The time has come to establish a much higher degree of single system operation in the 43 Force structure of England and Wales. This doesn't mean redrawing the map of 43. Single system operation can be achieved far more efficiently and effectively, and without legislation, turf wars and wasteful management introspection. Chief constables and their Police and crime commissioners can pool their sovereignties, by adopting a network code based on those used in other safety critical essential public services. Using a mechanism of qualified majority voting, with appropriate minority protections and checks and balances, decisions on Policing Policies and practices which need to be common, stable, efficient and effective can be made. There are not 43 best ways of doing the same thing."

Sir Thomas welcomed the decision to recruit an additional 20,000 Officers over the next 3 years. That is a long term investment in Policing. He added:- "1 year financial settlements for the Police are not conducive to the making of sound, longer-term investments in things such as information and communications technology. For efficiently run Forces, the Home Office should consider providing multi year financial settlements. The recruitment of the extra 20,000 Officers also provides the Police with an golden opportunity to improve the extent to which Police Forces reflect the communities they serve."

Sir Thomas said:- "It is also necessary for the Police to ensure they are and remain sensitive to valid criticisms of disproportionally in stop and search and the use of Force. Those special powers given by the community to Police Officers must always be used on sound lawful grounds, to enhance public safety and never to alienate local people. Policing in the UK is based on public consent and support; justified resentment is corrosive of that essential precious quality."

On Policing Policy, Sir Thomas said the greater hands-on approach by the Home Office is necessary quickly to create and enhance the essential conditions for the Police to become more efficient and effective. He said:- "The best victim of crime is someone who isn't. Prevention is the first objective of Policing. It saves lives from being shattered or lost. These are the lives of victims and their families, and they are the lives of offenders who could have been diverted from crime, and their families too. Effective prevention also saves colossal amounts of the time, energy and financial costs of the Police and the many other public services concerned with the causes and effects of crime. It reduces demands on the criminal justice system, health, social services and education. And it enhances public confidence, the confidence of people that they are safe from those who would do harm."

Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region and surroundings

THE latest total number of UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, has risen by 576 cases and the total number now stand at 283,757, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be 89 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 43,995.

In England, there are a total of 243,910 confirmed cases. North West - total of 42,393 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

► Liverpool, 2,411 confirmed cases.

► Sefton, 1,495 confirmed cases.

► Wirral, 2,016 confirmed cases.

► St. Helens, 1,192 confirmed cases.

► Halton, 680 confirmed cases.

► Knowsley, 983 confirmed cases..

► Blackpool,1,012 confirmed cases.

► Blackburn with Darwen, 974 confirmed cases.

► Bolton, 1,785 confirmed cases.

► Bury, 1,261 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire West and Chester, 1,927 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire East, 2,173 confirmed cases.

► Lancashire, 6,596 confirmed cases.

► Manchester, 2,835 confirmed cases.

► Oldham, 1,811 confirmed cases.

► Rochdale, 1,528 confirmed cases.

► Stockport, 1,613 confirmed cases.

► Salford, 1,297 confirmed cases.

► Tameside, 1,496 confirmed cases.

► Trafford, 1,240 confirmed cases.

► Wigan, 2,109 confirmed cases.


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