Emergancy COVID-19 Notices for the Liverpool City Region - 2020-05-18

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AS This page is to place quick update important notices that are being sent to us from Government and other organisations over the Coronavirus Emergency affecting our country (UK)...  Please remember that the information changes quickly, so always check to see what time and when the last post was made.  We will update as and when we can...  Users of our Formby Reporter's Free Email Service will get most updates 1st and then they will be added on here as soon as we can...  If you have any updates to send in or any views on the posts on here, please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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This page last updated on 18 May 2020

Government invests ₤35m to protect critical freight routes

VITAL freight routes into, out of and around the UK will continue to run smoothly, thanks to a multi million pound Government scheme to help ensure critical goods, such as food and medical supplies can move freely.

The Government has signed agreements with 6 operators to provide an estimated ₤35 million to ensure there is enough freight capacity to prevent disruption to the flow of goods.

The decision has been made to protect 16 of the most important routes; covering the Channel, the Short Strait, the North Sea and routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland; which were previously at risk of closure due to a drop in demand as a result of COVID-19. They will now be designated as Public Service Obligation routes for a period of up to 9 weeks.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:- "From the very beginning of the outbreak, we have committed to do whatever it takes to minimise the disruption caused by COVID-19. By taking this action, we have helped protect the movement of goods and services in and out of the UK, safeguarding the flow of supplies across the Union."

The Department for Transport is working closely with the transport sector and devolved administrations to monitor the situation on all freight routes (not just those in the scheme) in order to ensure critical goods, such as food and medical supplies, can move freely.

The agreements follow the UK, French and Irish Governments' pledge to work together on temporary measures to ensure COVID-19 does not threaten vital freight routes between the countries.

UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, and French Minister of Transport, Jean Baptiste Djebbari, said in a joint statement, that our nations are united by trade and we will continue to engage closely to help keep freight moving.

Transparent face masks could stop 'months of misery' for 9 million people, charities say

MILLIONS of deaf people could face "months of misery" unless transparent face masks are made widely available, some of the country's major deaf and disability organisations have warned. 9 organisations, led by the National Deaf Children's Society, have written to Public Health England and NHS England urging them to work together quickly to commission transparent face masks. Without them, the charities say deaf people face a world where they can't understand what's being said to them, putting them at an even higher risk of isolation and loneliness at a critical time. There are currently around 9 million people in England who are deaf or live with a hearing loss and almost all of them rely on seeing someone's face clearly, as it helps with lip reading and reading facial expressions. In the letter, the charities warn that this will become impossible if the general public now start to wear standard face masks or coverings. If transparent masks were also available however, they say it would make a:- "monumental difference" to deaf people across nation. The coalition, which includes:- the National Deaf Children's Society, Action on Hearing Loss, Royal Association for Deaf people, Action Deafness, British Deaf Association, Sign Health, British Association of Teachers of the Deaf, Sense and the UK Council on Deafness, also asks for any future Government guidance on the topic to include advice on speaking to deaf or deaf blind people whilst wearing face masks or coverings. The National Deaf Children's Society has provided five tips for the public when they speak to a deaf person whilst wearing a face mask, urging everyone to take them on board:-

1. Write it down. - If speech isn't working, write it down or use a text message.

2. Use an app. - There are mobile apps that can translate speech into text; why not give one a try?

3. Keep it clear. - If you can, use a face mask with a clear panel or a clear face visor so your face is visible.

4. Find a quiet place. - This will make it easier to hear, especially if technology is used to support hearing.

5. Use video calls. - If you don't need to meet face to face, a video call with captions or British Sign Language interpretation may work just as well and you won't need a mask.

Susan Daniels, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children's Society, said:- "This is an extremely challenging time for everyone and we're relying on each other's support, understanding and patience to get through it. Deaf people are no exception and if face masks or coverings become widespread, they could experience months of misery as they struggle to understand what is said to them. This could be even harder for children, who may not have the confidence to keep asking for things to be repeated and often find it easier to just pretend they understand. Transparent face masks would make a monumental difference to deaf people's lives, but we'd also ask everyone to take these simple deaf awareness tips on board. They won't make much difference to your life, but they will have a massive effect on ours."

Steph Halder, President of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf, said that her organisation had already been responding to queries and concerns from its members about the impact of face masks on deaf children. "Deaf children rely on lip patterns to support their communication and also need to see peoples' faces for emotional understanding. The use of face masks could have a negative impact on assessments and verification of hearing aids and auditory implants. Deaf children do not hear well over distance and may already be struggling with social distancing measures. Clear face masks would remove some of the barriers and ensure that deaf children are not put at a disadvantage."

Linda Richards, Chair of the British Deaf Association, said:- "Don't mask the message. Use of clear face masks and visors / shields with Deaf people is reassuring, reduces the risk of misunderstandings, and gives us the chance; indeed, the right; to be as fully informed and involved in our treatment as is possible. Don't mask the message with an unnecessary barrier. Be clear. Go clear."

Craig Crowley, Chief Executive of Action Deafness, said:- "We believe this clear face mask is urgently needed and will make a huge difference to patients being able to access their communication needs, especially in this serious COVID-19 pandemic period."

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay scheme to launch in May

A new online service will launch on 26 May 2020 for small and medium sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees, the Government has announced on 18 May 2020. The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was announced at Budget as part of a package of support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Coronavirus related SSP. Employers will be able to make their claims through a new online service from 26 May 2020. This means they will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey said:- "We are committed to supporting Britain's small and medium businesses through this pandemic with a comprehensive package of support. This rebate will put money back in the pockets of millions of employers, ensuring they can hit the ground running as the economy re-opens."

Angela MacDonald, HMRC's Director General of Customer Services, said:- "Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees, to ensure they get the support they need. We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period."

Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28 February 2020 and they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date. The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP, and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they:-

Have Coronavirus.

Are Self Isolating and unable to work from home.

Are shielding because they've been advised that they're at high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus.

To prepare to make their claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments that they wish to claim from HMRC. Further guidance is available on:- GOV.UK.

Wildfire warning from the CLA

THE CLA is calling on the public to take extra care in the countryside due to the increased fire risk, especially on hillsides, moors and heathland as warm, dry, and windy conditions have elevated wildfire conditions across large swathes of the country. In addition, there will potentially be an increase of visitors to the countryside in the leading into the Bank holiday weekend, coupled with the Government's recent easing of restrictions on people's movements. Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities. Reducing the risk of wildfires is key at this time of the year, and raising awareness is one way in which the risk can be reduced. Wildfires can be prevented by not discarding cigarettes or other smoldering material. The same can be said for litter as quite often bottles and shards of glass can spark a fire. There is also an increased fire risk associated with disposable barbeques that are used in the countryside, urging the visiting public not to barbeque in rural areas. Barbeques should only take place in sheltered areas well away from combustible material, and properly extinguished afterwards whilst heeding Government guidance on social distancing and gatherings.

CLA Director North, Dorothy Fairburn, said:- "We appeal to the public to be extra vigilant when visiting the countryside as there is an increased risk of wildfires due to the current dry conditions on farm fields, moors and heathfields. Prevention is better than cure, and especially now when we can ill afford putting undue stress on emergency services."

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Services has renewed a call for vigilance in the countryside after a spate of deliberate fires across Cumbria. Read the Service's statement here. In case of a fire, the public is advised not to try and tackle the fire themselves, and to alert the emergency services on the 999 number, stating as accurately as possible, the location of such a fire.

Children and COVID-19 patients in Hospital to benefit from Bank's ₤10,000 donation

CHILDREN and COVID-19 patients in Hospital and frontline staff at the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a ₤10,000 donation made by a leading Challenger Bank.

Redwood Bank, which has an office in Warrington, is handing over the cash contribution to the Warrington & Halton Hospitals' Charity, an organisation that raises funds to help people who have been in Hospital and require some extra help beyond the services the NHS provides.

The money will be spent on toiletry packs and simple clothing for COVID-19 patients who are taken into Hospital with no personal belongings, and on discharge packs for those recovering who may not have any of the basics waiting for them at home.

In addition, the Trust hopes to fund iPads and other devices, so that patients who are currently not allowed visitors can contact their loved ones via:- 'face to face' video calls.

The Trust's Chief Executive Professor Simon Constable said:- "Not seeing loved ones is a real concern for our patients, so as well as purchasing more devices, we've temporarily funded free bedside TV and phone calls for all patients. Our children have also been badly affected, as they're only allowed one parent to stay with them on the ward and their siblings cannot visit at all. We'd like to provide our children's ward with a range of additional items to help keep them amused. When people lose their life to Coronavirus, they sometimes die without their loved ones at their side. This is heartbreaking for all involved, so we asked our community of knitters to make little red hearts. One stays with the patient and the others are given to the family in memory of their loved one. It's such a small gesture, but many have found comfort from it. We'll also be buying more red wool and knitting sets so we can ensure that every patient that passes while in our care gets this fitting tribute."

The donation will also go towards helping to support staff mental health and wellbeing with the creation of a Sanctuary offering counselling and mental health support, as well as relaxation and yoga classes.

The charity supports the Warrington Hospital and Halton Hospital in Runcorn.

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, said:- "It's devastating to hear that poorly children can only see one parent at a time and that COVID-19 patients are dying alone without all their loved ones around them. We all know this is necessary because of how infectious this killer virus is, but it doesn't make it any easier for those involved. As a Bank there's not much we can do, other than provide financial support, which is why we've decided to make this ₤10,000 donation to help support the brave frontline healthcare workers, the children who are missing their families and all the Coronavirus patients who are fighting for their lives completely alone. We want each and every person at the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to know we're behind them and as a company we are also doing our bit as we're all working from home and social distancing."

The announcement comes just weeks after Redwood Bank pledged another ₤10,000 to the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, where the Bank has its headquarters.

As soon as the Government requested people work from home if they could, the Bank made it mandatory that all staff followed the rules.

Founded in 2017, Redwood Bank is the UK's 1st business challenger bank to have been:- 'born in the cloud,' which meant secure systems were already in place to support remote working.

All staff already had access to the technology and capabilities to allow them to work from anywhere in the country.

For further information about Redwood's Coronavirus approach, visit:- RedwoodBank.Co.UK.

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

THE total number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 2,684 cases and the total number now stand at 246,406, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals. The daily number of laboratory confirmed UK cases is 3,142, as of Sunday,17 May 2020. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is 34,796. Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths added to the total, was sadly reported to be 160 according to the Department of Health. In England, there are a total of 144,127 confirmed cases. North West - total of 23,786 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

► Liverpool, 1,558 confirmed cases.

► Sefton, 891 confirmed cases.

► Wirral, 1,180 confirmed cases.

► St. Helens, 730 confirmed cases.

► Halton, 369 confirmed cases.

► Lancashire, 3,351 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire West and Chester, 992 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire East, 1,102 confirmed cases.

► Manchester, 1,428 confirmed cases.

► Stockport, 1,013 confirmed cases.

► Trafford, 746 confirmed cases.

► Wigan, 1,118 confirmed cases.

► Bolton, 954 confirmed cases.

► Rochdale, 720 confirmed cases.

► Bury, 669 confirmed cases.

► Tameside, 627 confirmed cases.

► Oldham, 1,004 confirmed cases.

► Blackburn with Darwen, 386 confirmed cases.

These stats are according to Public Health England as of 18/05/2020. Last updated 4.51pm GMT. UK total includes cases detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing (tests carried out by commercial partners) and therefore does not equate to the sum of the 4 countries' counts, which only include:- "Pillar 1" (tests carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved Administration Labs).. UK total includes cases detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing (tests carried out by commercial partners) and therefore does not equate to the sum of the 4 countries' counts, which only include:- "Pillar 1" (tests carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved Administration Labs).

UK Government Coronavirus Press Conference on 18 May 2020 Video



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