Emergancy COVID-19 Notices for the Liverpool City Region - 2020-05-26

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... Important Daily Notices ...

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 26 May 2020

RNLI warn people not to visit Hilbre Island

A warning has again been issued again not to visit Hilbre Island, the is located on the sands of Lime Wharf, within Dee Estuary. This warning comes as hundreds of thousands of day trippers descended on the beaches across Merseyside. In this case 25 visitors went out from near West Kirby and became stranded on the Island. After checking the RNLI had checked that where safe on the Island, they walkers had to wait until it was safe to walk back. A spokesperson for the RNLI said:- "We want to remind people the island is closed to public over the pandemic due to it being in a dangerous location. Please do not go to Hilbre Island as it is putting our volunteer crews in unnecessary danger, should you get info difficulties."

RNLI Lifeguards to are getting ready to return to Merseyside's beaches

OVER the Bank Holiday many beaches have not had Lifeguards, as lockdown restriction had left the RNLI unable to train the 1,600 Lifeguards it needs to patrol 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands, including those on Merseyside. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have said that they are:- "Working as quickly as possible to roll out our lifeguard service, starting with key beaches in England."

It comes after teenage girl and a man died and a 3rd person, a man, is critically ill in Hospital; after being pulled from the sea in:- "multiple incidents on the Cornish coastline."  Also on Merseyside, volunteers from both the RNLI and Southport Lifeboat (SORT) have seen a spate of problems to deal with.

Today the Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, has written this open letter as we ask for help to manage an impossible situation:- "Despite our warnings that there were no Lifeguards on patrol this weekend. crowded beaches. Hot weather and big waves meant our Lifeboat crews had their busiest weekend so far this year. At least 2 people lost their lives. This puts the RNLI in an impossible situation. With thousands flocking to English beaches now lockdown restrictions have been eased. we must strike a balance that keeps the public and our Lifeguards safe. Safety advice and warnings will only go so far when people are desperate to enjoy some freedom after weeks of lockdown. But. as a Lifesaving charity. the RNLI cannot stop people going to beaches. Rolling out a Lifeguard Service; especially in a pandemic; is not as simple as putting a Lifeguard on a beach. We found out about the easing of lockdown restrictions in England at the same time and in the same way as the general public. Contrast that with shops. which were given 3 weeks' notice and even car showrooms have been given 7 days warning to prepare. We have to work out how to do in water rescues and give 1st aid; normally conducted at close quarters and often with people coughing up water. We have to find PPE that will work on a beach and in the water; visors and aprons are no good on a rescue board. And we have to train our Lifeguards in procedures to reduce the risk of infection. All this takes time and we learnt of the lifting of restrictions at the same time as everyone else. Lifesaving is our priority. But the fundamental sustainability of the charity is also a consideration. Local Authorities contribute just 20% of the ₤2OM needed to pay for a normal Lifeguard season; the remaining ₤l6M comes from RNLI donations. Right now. Our charity faces an expected ₤24M shortfall in funding by the end of the year because many of our fundraising activities have had to stop. No 1 is to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. We're asking everyone to help manage an impossible situation. so please follow our safety advice and think before you head to the coast."

In a statement Southport Offshore Rescue Trust (Southport Lifeboat) who are an independent charity, have also said:- "With lifeguard services temporarily suspended on our beach, coupled with the good weather, there has been an increase in call outs for emergency crews that is putting extra strain on the volunteer coastal rescue teams. We understand that the public want to exercise freely on your coastline, however, we appeal to the public to consider where they're parking.  Yet again we have appealed to the public not to park irresponsibly on Southport’s slipway."

This and other issues have lead to calls for the Government to protect the areas affected by the over whelming numbers of day trippers, which could have potentially life threatening consequences by giving local Authorities the ability to close them, if the area becomes overloaded.
If you have any views on the post please email them to us at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.           

Local Liverpool woman in line to be crowned National Business Hero

A local woman has been nominated to be the 2020 National Business Hero at the National SME Business Awards which will take place at the iconic Wembley Stadium later this year. Heather Akehurst from Open Awards has been nominated in the high profile category where 70% of the decision on who wins will be down to a public vote. "This exciting category is open to a business or business person who have gone above and beyond in the face of adversity. Our judges will be looking to see what they have done to support a local or national cause and the winner will be a true national hero." said Damian Cummins, the SME National Business Awards Director. Open Awards is an Awarding Organisation approved by Ofqual and an Access Validating Agency approved by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). They provide Ofqual regulated qualifications and units across a range of sectors, QAA Access to Higher Education Diplomas and also offer bespoke quality endorsed units and flexible learning solutions.

"I was surprised and delighted to be nominated. The Open Awards team have been working extremely hard to support our Centres and EPAOs during this difficult time. Not only are they undertaking their existing and continuing work during challenging times, but they are introducing new initiatives such as our weekly SEN Forum, recognition for Volunteers and Key Workers so that we can show our appreciation and support. It may have my name on it but it’s really a vote for the whole wonderful Open Awards family; still working; still Open."
said Heather Akehurst.

Damian Cummins added:- "It is a very competitive field and therefore we are encouraging local people, local businesses and local organisations to get online and vote for Heather. With 70% of the vote being decided by the public the more support any candidate receives from friends, family and business contacts the more chance they have of winning."

You can vote for your candidate easily online and the closing date for voting is Thursday, 18 June 2020. The SME National Business Awards are a credible opportunity to support and share in the vision to raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SME’s nationally. Business awards are a sought after accolade of achievement, a veritable endorsement of success in business which offers exceptional marketing and PR opportunities as well as increasing the credibility and standing in the eyes of peers and your customers.

 Coronavirus sick pay scheme opens for applications

SMALL businesses and employers, on 26 May 2020, across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking Coronavirus related leave will be able to claim back the money from HM Treasury. In a further boost to employers affected by the outbreak, The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in the Budget, has now opened for applications. The scheme allows small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 members of staff, to apply to recover the costs of paying Coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay for 2 weeks; worth nearly ₤200 per employee. Launching on gov.uk today, the new online service is being run by HMRC, and after making an application employers will receive the money within 6 working days. To get the rebate, employers will need to go online and input simple information on the employees being claimed for.

The service can be accessed here.

The current rate of SSP is ₤95.85 per week. Employers can choose to go further and pay more than the statutory minimum. This is known as occupational or contractual sick pay. Where an employer pays more than the current rate of SSP in sick pay, they will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:-

Full time employees.

Part time employees.

Employees on agency contracts.

Employees on flexible or zero hour contracts.

Other SSP eligibility criteria apply.

Tax agents can make claims on behalf of their employers.

Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees are fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020. Employees do not have to provide a Doctor’s 'Fit Note' in order for their employer to make a claim under the scheme make a claim.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP from either 13 March 2020, if an employee had Coronavirus, symptoms or is self isolating because someone they live with has symptoms, or from 16 April 2020 if an employee was shielding because of Coronavirus.

Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield in line with public health guidance and are unable to work from home, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and would be classified as a furloughed employee. Where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to 2 weeks of SSP from 16 April 2020.

Anti-viral drug Remdesivir to be used by the NHS in the fight against Coronaviris

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of Coronavirus since the crisis began. Remdesivir is an anti viral medicine that has been used against Ebola appears to shorten recovery time for people with Coronavirus is being made available on the NHS. UK regulators have told the media that there is enough evidence to approve its use for the time being in the treatment of selected Covid-19 Hospital patients, due to limited supplies. As of yet the research suggests it can cut recovery time by about 4 days and is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including within the UK. It is still early days and we are told that currently there is no evidence that it will save more lives. It also looks like some hotels will start opening from 4 July 2020.

The start of a slow restart for many businesses announced

IF all goes to plan, Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the lockdown, in England, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June 2020 and all non-essential retailers will be able to reopen from 15 June 2020. However, not all businesses are pleased with the announcement. But, please remember that it's going to be a very different way of shopping from what we're used to, for quite some time. What are your views and can you business run with the restrictions that will have to be in place? We also do not yet know when Theatres and Cinemas will be able open. Some might open in July or August, but it September as most likely reopening date. also many in that sector are worried that they could see a 50% loss of seating capacity, and as a result, many say they would only survive a maximum of 3 months in such circumstances. With the hospitality industry has been hit hard by the lockdown, with many are also asking when pubs and restaurants will reopen. Sadly we also do not know what the plans are to relax outdoor seating licences, so that pubs can open in July. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of Coronavirus since the crisis began. Remdesivir is an anti viral medicine that has been used against Ebola appears to shorten recovery time for people with Coronavirus is being made available on the NHS. UK regulators have told the media that there is enough evidence to approve its use for the time being in the treatment of selected Covid-19 Hospital patients, due to limited supplies. As of yet the research suggests it can cut recovery time by about 4 days and is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including within the UK. It is still early days and we are told that currently there is no evidence that it will save more lives. It also looks like some hotels will start opening from 4 July 2020.

Mental health and wellbeing support in Sefton

THE NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have said that:- "If you are facing a mental health crisis, please remember you are not alone and help is available. Visit our website and find your local helpline to speak with someone at any time."  Also, if you're worried about a child, please call NSPCC's Helpline on:- 08088005000 or you can email them at:- Help@NSPCC.Org.UK.

Is the Government "knowingly kick starting a collapse" of tens of thousands of micro businesses through 'Top Up Grant' chaos?

SMALL and micro businesses, market traders and charities across the country, who are at risk of collapsing due to a drastic change in the 'Top Up Grant' scheme, the Liberal Democrats have uncovered. The severe change in funding for businesses affected during the Covid-19 crisis will leave Councils out of pocket and unable to provide previously promised support. In Manchester, original discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), estimated that between ₤18m to ₤22m would be made available for businesses survival from the Top Up Grant. However, BEIS have now confirmed that just ₤5.4m will be made available. This means nearly 1,500 small and micro businesses in Manchester alone will be excluded from any relief. The businesses now identified as at risk are in areas vital for the economy including:- digital, creative, health and bioscience, independent retail and hospitality. An additional 405 charities, needed to provide services to some of the City’s most vulnerable residents, as well as 30 regular market traders, also now face no financial support. To fund all these organisations, Manchester City Council would need a budget of ₤22m. It will get just ₤5.4m, meaning only grants of up to ₤5,000 will be made available instead of up to ₤25,000. Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the North John Leech said:- "The Government is not prepared to support the tens of thousands of vital small and micro businesses, charities and market traders across the country, so they are deliberately shifting responsibility onto local Councils. Put simply: By not providing enough funding to local Councils to cover these businesses properly, the Government is knowingly kick starting the collapse of tens of thousands of businesses, charities and the livelihoods of even more. It is a deeply cynical and unfair move from the Government.” As a newspaper, we are now asking to find out if this is the same in the Liverpool City Region. Have you had problems getting funding? If yes, please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know.        

CLA win as gardens to be reopened to public

FOLLOWING significant pressure from the CLA and Historic Houses, the Government has now produced updated COVID-19 guidance to allow private gardens to open to the public. The Government’s roadmap on 10 May 2020 clearly stated that:- ;outdoor ticketed attractions,' which included:- gardens, could not be opened to the general public, as part of the 1st step in easing the lockdown. This was despite clear scientific evidence that the rate of infection is significantly lower outside than indoors. Both organisations raised this anomaly with DCMS and Defra, pointing out that the Government was allowing Garden Centres to open, but not gardens. The Presidents of the CLA and Historic Houses wrote to the Rural Affairs Minister, Lord Gardiner and the Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston, asking the Government to think again.

The revised guidance now states that members of the public can:- "visit gardens and land maintained for public use as an alternative open space to spend time outdoors, although buildings and amenities such as cafes will remain closed and access may be limited to members or those with tickets to ensure social distancing. You should check ahead and follow social distancing guidelines. Entrance fees can be charged."

Director General of the CLA Sarah Hendry said:- "I am delighted that Government has listened to industry calls and taken what is clearly a pragmatic step forward. Thousands of people will now be able to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of visiting a garden, whilst; of course; adhering to social distancing rules. Of course, garden owners must recognise their responsibility to follow Government’s hygiene and social distancing rules, and conduct a full risk assessment before they open. Members should get in touch with the CLA if they need further assistance."

Letter to the Editor:- "Parking and lack of facility's at Formby Point"

"HI, my family and I visited Formby beach yesterday. We were shocked that we had to pay ₤7.50 to park the car when this meant touching a machine that possibly hundreds of other people had touched that day. I didn't see any hand sanitizing equipment either to wipe the machine with. I've contacted them via Facebook messenger however it says they're not currently monitoring the page. I even asked the attendant if we had to pay and he pointed us to the direction of the pay point machine and said yes we have to pay. Someone needs to look into this ASAP." Stacey Brown from Chorley.

Editors reply:- "The area has been on TV asking people not to come as it can't handle the numbers. We will add that they have put electronic notices on the main road also warms people about this. The money raised via parking goes to help fund the areas Rangers and facilities, like the paths and dune management. The National Trust is very short of cash now, and being a charity, they have had to reduce staff levels from what we are told. Hope This helps you. We have pass your information on."

Reply back from Stacey Brown:- "The point I'm trying to make is I would happily pay the ₤7.50 to park my car, however what is the point of putting up signs to keep 2m apart if we're all touching the same machine? They should be putting spray and roll at the pay points as currently they're HELPING the spread of covid-19, or they should allow you to pay online via your phone. I was simply letting you know so they can rectify the current harmful situation. Thanks."

Editors note:- "We have passed this on to National Trust for a reply."

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 2,004 cases and the total number now stand at 265,227, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is 37,048. Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be 134 according to the Department of Health. In England, there are a total of 150,294 confirmed cases. North West - total of 25,158 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

► Liverpool, 1,602 confirmed cases.

► Sefton, 924 confirmed cases.

► Wirral, 1,252 confirmed cases.

► St. Helens, 752 confirmed cases.

► Halton, 392 confirmed cases.

► Lancashire, 3,542 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire West and Chester, 1,096 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire East, 1,201 confirmed cases.

► Manchester, 1,538 confirmed cases.

► Stockport, 1,042 confirmed cases.

► Trafford, 800 confirmed cases.

► Wigan, 1,175 confirmed cases.

► Bolton, 1,001 confirmed cases.

► Rochdale, 769 confirmed cases.

► Bury, 735 confirmed cases.

► Tameside, 701 confirmed cases.

► Oldham, 1,065 confirmed cases.

► Blackburn with Darwen, 407 confirmed cases.

These stats are according to Public Health England as of 26/05/2020. Last updated 4.42pm 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 26 May 2020 Video



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