DAILY EMERGENCY COVID-19
... Important Daily Notices ...
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)...
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This page is updated on 31 March 2020
responds to Coronavirus with specialist support for people with
sight loss in Lancashire
THE Royal National Institute of Blind
People (RNIB) is offering support to people affected by sight
loss in Lancashire after unprecedented changes to everyday life.
The current social distancing and self isolation measures can be
particularly difficult for the 6010 blind and partially sighted
people who live in Lancashire, as many rely on guides and public
transport to live independently. In response, RNIB has improved
telephone and online access to its Sight Loss Advice Service;
which offers emotional support and practical advice to blind and
partially sighted people and their families.
Jamie Dormandy, Head of Customer Service and Advice at RNIB,
said:- "The measures to stop to spread of Coronavirus are
having an unprecedented impact on the way that people with sight
loss go about their day to day lives. Social distancing and
self-isolation are presenting new challenges; with a lot of
blind and partially sighted people worried about how they can
continue to travel to the shop for essential supplies or find
the items they need without the support of a guide. We have
scaled up our telephone and online advice service to answer the
questions that blind and partially sighted people have right now
and are connecting people with local support. It's very
important that anyone affected by sight loss in Lancashire knows
they are not alone, and we are here to support them."
The service is providing information on a range of issues
affecting people with sight loss during this national health
► How to access essential items, such
as food and medicine.
► Navigating safely while adhering to social distancing advice.
► Advice on eye health at a time when non-urgent appointments
have been cancelled.
► Support to reduce loneliness during self isolation.
► Information about benefits and financial support provided by
RNIB Eye Health Liaison Officer (ECLOs), which are normally
clinic based in hospitals, are also on hand over the phone to
offer practical advice on living with sight loss and emotional
RNIB's Sight Loss Advice Service is available to anyone
concerned on:- 0303 123 9999 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays,
and between 9am and 1pm on Saturdays. Advice is also being
CLA and TFA
issue joint statement in challenging times
Country Land and Business
Association (CLA) and The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) are
working together to support landlords and their farming tenants
in these unparalleled times, with all sectors being impacted by
the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement, the TFA and CLA, with DEFRA's support, are
appealing to all rural landlords and tenants to work together
collaboratively and compassionately during this unprecedented
time. The plea is made in respect of all tenancy matters, but
particularly rent payments, notices to quit and finalising new
Both the TFA and CLA say neither party should seek to take
advantage of the current situation or use it as an excuse to act
unreasonably. Both parties should consider the impact of their
actions on the other and avoid taking a hard line on any issue,
at what is a very difficult time. Never has it been more
important for the whole of the farming industry to focus one
hundred percent on supplying the nation's food.
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:- "We know that
landowners value their relationships with tenants deeply, and we
are working with CLA members to underline the importance of
working closely with tenants who are experiencing difficulties
due to Coronavirus. We have advised landlords to discuss with
farming tenants any problems they are facing so that a mutual
solution can be found, and we make sure farming businesses can
carry on as well as possible in these difficult circumstances.
We also suggest that, as far as possible, current disputes are
put on hold and that formal proceedings for any non-payment of
rent are used only as a matter of extreme last resort."
TFA national chairman Mark Coulman said:- "It is
inevitable that some tenants will struggle to meet rent payments
or other tenancy obligations due to cashflow difficulties or
other knock on impacts of the Coronavirus situation. In these
circumstances we are urging landlords and tenants to work
together to agree alternative arrangements. We are already
hearing of positive examples of landlords and tenants working
together during this trying time."
The TFA has been actively assisting members left in difficult
situations beyond their control due to Coronavirus restrictions.
In one case, a conversation with a TFA member's landlord's agent
led to agreement on a better frequency of rental payments to
assist cash flow and reduce the stress of having to find large
sums of money upfront.
In a 2nd case, the member has decided in light of the recent
events to give up farming, but he had just gone beyond the point
at which he could break his tenancy. Although the landlord had
previously rejected his notice to quit, the TFA managed to
negotiate its subsequent acceptance.
"As always, communication will be vital and we would encourage
dialogue between landlords and tenants, so that practical
solutions can be found for any ongoing issues or any that arise
during this challenging period. TFA and CLA members should
contact their respective organisations for any further guidance
needed." said Mr Coulman.
Samaritans still here for you!
volunteers have been
pulling out all the stops to continue their free helpline
service during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Although it has had to suspend face to face calls at its
Liverpool branch, the charity has promised to carry on providing
emotional support via telephone and email to anyone struggling
The country wide lockdown had led to concerns that the lifeline
service might have to close temporarily. However, the Government
has confirmed that Samaritans volunteers are classed as
delivering a 'critical' service, so local listeners can continue
to travel to the Clarence Street office and keep the 24/7
While some members of the 140 strong team are currently having
to self isolate, others are stepping up to fill the void and
ensure the branch remains open.
"We have been pulling together and doing everything we can to
keep our confidential listening service up and running because
it's needed more than ever. People are understandably concerned
about the health of themselves and their loved ones, as well as
their finances, and the current situation might be making the
lives of people who are already struggling even more difficult."
said branch director Sheila Campbell.
Volunteer safety remains of the upmost importance and the
branch, which marked its 60th Birthday in March 2020, is
applying strict guidelines with regard to hygiene standards and
"It is a very challenging situation but our dedicated listeners
are rising to the occasion and helping ensure that, for anyone
who is going through a difficult time, we are here for them."
Anyone in need of emotional support can contact the Samaritans
on the free number:- 116 123 or email:-
additional services to the vulnerable circumstances over power
the event of a power cut, customers
should call the national 105 hotline, no matter who they pay
their bill to. Customers who have received a letter from the NHS
advising them that they are:- 'at risk' and should
take additional measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 are
being advised to sign up for the Priority Services Register.
This provides free additional services to customers in
vulnerable circumstances if there is an unexpected power cut.
They should sign up at:-
SPErgynetworks.Co.UK or text:- 'PSR'
a million fed with food destined for bin
COVID-19 has highlighted a dichotomy
in our food system. Whilst supermarket shelves are empty,
thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables are spoiling
in fields and warehouses across the country. The current
situation has exaggerated an already pressing issue: up to 40%
of fresh produce grown in the UK is wasted.
Hounslow based start up FruPro want this to stop. They are
developing a communications and trading platform that connects
the fruit and veg industry. Their goal is to reduce waste by
creating a centralised platform that puts those with produce in
touch with those who need it.
Eventually, FruPro will take a commission from these trades;
however, in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19 they
have launched a not for profit version.
"The key thing for us is that no food ends up in the bin.
Despite empty supermarket shelves there is a huge amount of
fresh produce available, because may wholesalers sell directly
into the hospitality sector; which has closed down. The issue
now is getting that food to retailers." says William
Hill, CEO of FruPro.
Reynolds, a leading supplier for the foodservice industry, is
one of the platform's earliest participants. FruPro put Reynolds
Catering Supplies into contact with WT Hill, a food marketing
company, who have helped divert 180 tonnes of fresh produce to
independent retailers and wholesalers across the country. They
estimate this could feed half a million people for two days.
Without FruPro, much of this produce could have been wasted.
"FruPro have been a great help to Reynolds in ensuring that we
have been able to divert produce, which might have otherwise
gone to waste, to people who really need it. Now more than ever
it's important that our industries works together to prevent
food shortages and minimise any wastage" says Matthew
Jones, who is a Senior Buyer, at Reynolds.
Currently, FruPro is focused on diverting produce to independent
retailers. This includes food markets, corner shops and
greengrocers, as well as the growing fresh produce delivery
sector. They are also developing a mechanism for transferring
stock to food banks.
William added that:- "Supermarkets do a great job, but we
also need to support our independent retailers and charitable
organisations. These businesses don't have the levels of
bureaucracy and regulation that you see in supermarkets. This
means that we can get stock to them quickly; and then on to the
general public. Greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers have been
supporting our communities for centuries; and I think the next
few weeks are going to remind us how valuable they are."
FruPro is still some months away from releasing the full version
of their platform, which they say must be international to
reflect the complexity of supply chains. They are also in talks
with Agrimetrics, an artificial intelligence and data platform
with the backing of UK Government and Microsoft, regarding how
to scale their solution and integrate valuable information, such
as crop disease models and yield predictions.
"In a couple of years, we want everyone to be able to buy fresh
fruit that would otherwise have ended up in the bin, and be able
to track that piece of fruit back to the farm that produced it:
complete traceability. Over the next few months, we want to make
sure that no one goes hungry whilst good food is being wasted."
City Region Combined Authority Metro Mayor has issued important
advice for key workers using public transport
THE Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor,
Steve Rotheram, is issuing important information and travel
advice for key workers who need to travel to deliver vital
services to communities. Whilst all non-essential travel should
currently be avoided, Merseytravel and transport operators are
working hard to provide resilient, dedicated services so that
all those who have to make essential journeys are able to do so.
Services and timetables are under constant review and changes
are being introduced this week in light of a number of key
factors including large reductions in passenger numbers, as
people adhere to the national advice regarding non-essential
travel, working from home wherever possible and social
distancing to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Like
all sections of the community, the crisis is having an impact on
transport staff, meaning reduced staffing levels. From Thursday,
2 April 2020, Merseyrail services will be running between 7am
and 7pm, every 30 minutes on all lines. This decision takes into
account reduction in passenger numbers, currently down by around
70% on weekday journeys, and to help ensure a reliable service
can be maintained. From Monday, 6 April 2020, Mersey Ferries
will temporarily suspend the current morning and evening
commuter service, due to a reduction in demand, as current
figures show there are less that 20 passengers per day using the
service. Bus services are also seeing a decline in passenger
numbers and operators are continuing to provide services with
revised timetables across the network.
The following advice is for those key workers using public
transport for essential journeys:-
► Check timetables before you travel
► Go to websites, journey apps and
social media for the latest information.
► Merseyrail users should consider
changing your times of travel to meet the network availability.
► If this is not possible, consider
other modes of transport such as bus to make your journey.
► Mersey Ferries customers should look
for cross river rail and bus services.
► For cross river travel, Liverpool
City Region Combined Authority has suspended tunnel tolls
allowing for reduced cross river travel costs.
► Maintain social distancing, there
remains sufficient capacity to meet demand and allow this.
► Use contactless payments if you can.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:-
"Everyone knows that, other than for essential journeys, you
should stay at home and our transport figures reflect that so
thank you to people for following that crucial advice to help
stop the spread of the Coronavirus. I also know how important it
is for our key workers to be able to use public transport, so
they can get to and from work to carry out essential services in
our communities. That is why we are working with transport
operators to do everything we can to provide the best and most
reliable services possible, against a backdrop of extremely
challenging circumstances, whilst protecting both people who
have to travel and transport staff. I must commend our customers
who continue to be extremely understanding and I know you will
appreciate that some decisions are currently being made to
ensure that we can continue to provide a resilient transport
network and options rather than have no services at all. I
strongly urge everyone to continue to follow the latest official
advice, stay safe and thank you."
For the latest travel and timetable information customers should
check the Merseytravel and transport operators' webpage's and
social media platforms in the first instance and on a daily
basis as there are likely to be more changes ahead.
From Thursday, 2 April 2020, services will be running between
7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday, with services every 30 minutes
across all lines. Sunday services will operate between the hours
of 8am and 7pm and are as follows:-
► Northern line = Hourly service
► Chester line = Hourly service
► Ellesmere Port line = Hourly service
operating calling at all stations between Ellesmere Port and
Hooton. Passengers can change at Hooton to continue their onward
New Brighton and West Kirby lines...
► 45 minute service
Andy Heath, Managing Director at
Merseyrail, said:- "Our colleagues have continued to work
tirelessly to keep our train service operating. The role they
have played in this national effort to support our NHS and other
key workers in the fight against COVID-19 is commendable.
However, we are now unfortunately seeing an increasing amount of
them being affected by COVID-19, and, as such, have made the
difficult decision to significantly alter the way that we
operate. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we
recognise the impact it will have. Merseyrail is committed to
providing a service to key workers and those making essential
journeys across the Liverpool City Region during this difficult
time. The announcement today is about just that; ensuring the
service we can offer is as reliable as possible as we move
through these uncertain times. The prime minister was quite
clear that people should only be travelling where absolutely
necessary, and I would encourage people to continue to follow
Other rail operators, Services are running to revised
timetables; but please check before you travel.
► Northern @northernassist
► Transpennine Express @TPEassist
► Avanti West Coast @avantiwestcoast
► London Northwestern Railway @LNRailway
► Transport for Wales @tfwrail
► East Midlands Railway @EastMidRailway
Bus services are running but the frequency of some services has
been reduced; please check before you travel.
From Monday, 6 April 2020, the morning and evening commuter
services will be temporarily suspended. This is due to an
unprecedented fall in demand but this will be monitored on a
Please keep checking the Mersey Ferries website and @merseytravel
for the latest information.
► The Queensway (Birkenhead) and
Kingsway (Wallasey) Mersey Tunnels are currently open.
For the latest national information and guidance in relation to
the Coronavirus please visit:-
Gov.UK and Public Health
Total UK cases
COVID-19 Cases Update for Liverpool City Region and
number of fatalities are still
rising in the UK. The current rise is by 381 making to total
number of fatalities 1,789. The number of COVID-19
infections has risen by 3,009 in just a day, to 25,150, the
Department of Health said. In England, there are a total of
21,008 confirmed cases. North West; total of 2,132 confirmed
cases. Current confirmed cases within the following local
authorities are as follows:-
► Liverpool, 217 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 73 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 69 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 61 confirmed cases.
► Halton, 25 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 313 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 54 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 74 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 126 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 101 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 96 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 65 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 48 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 89 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 72 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 69 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 108 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 20 confirmed cases.
These stats are according to Public Health England as of
* A new process for collecting numbers of recovered patients
is in development: More information to follow.
See archived update pages
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