As you will know, new local restrictions came into effect at midnight. These apply to Wirral and the rest of Merseyside, as well as other parts of the North West. They are a response to the rise in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19.
The following restrictions are now in place:
• Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own household or support bubble in private homes and gardens. In addition, it is advised that people should not socialise in any public venue (including pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues and visitor attractions) with people they do not live with, unless they’re in their support bubble
• An exception to this rule was announced yesterday afternoon. Informal childcare and care giving arrangements are now exempt from household visiting restrictions. This means that those who rely on grandparents or others to take care of children aged under 14 or vulnerable adults - so that they can work - can continue doing so
• Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and leisure and entertainment venues including, restaurants, pubs, and cinemas required will close from 10pm to 5am
• Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
• Attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators should be avoided
In addition to the above, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further national restrictions earlier this afternoon that relate to the whole country. They are:
• Office workers who can work from home should do so.
• The requirement to wear face coverings is extended to include staff in retail, all users of taxis/private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
• From Monday a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions
• The 'rule of six' now extends to all adult indoor team sports
More information about the new restrictions, including FAQs, is posted on the Wirral Council website. This information will be updated in response to any further changes and as further details become available.
Since the new restrictions were announced on Friday we have been working to inform local residents, businesses and community organisations about what the changes will mean to them.
Please look out for the special wrap-around feature in tomorrow’s Wirral Globe, which can also be viewed online.
LAUNCHING THIS WEEK: CONTACT-TRACING APP
A new COVID-19 Test and Trace app is set to roll out this Thursday (24 September). It allows people to 'check-in' to venues, and notifies them if they come in to contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.
This information will help the NHS and local authorities respond quickly to outbreaks, to stop the virus spreading, and save lives.
There is a legal requirement for many public buildings and certain private sector businesses to take part in the scheme. This includes community centres, libraries, theatres, museums, galleries, gyms and indoor sports facilities. Each building must display a unique QR NHS Test and Trace poster.
• Create a Test & Trace QR poster
To 'check-in,' the user simply scans a QR code poster using the app, which passes on their Test and Trace details without having to fill a form in. They will receive an alert if they have recently visited a venue where they may have come into contact with Coronavirus, alongside advice on what to do and whether they need to self-isolate.
The COVID-19 app has a series of other features to help people make daily decisions to protect themselves, those they love, and the wider community. These include the ability to recognise and report symptoms, order a Coronavirus test, and be notified if the area they live has become categorised as ‘high risk’.
To download the NHS COVID-19 app, visit the App Store or Google Play when it is launched on Thursday 24 September.
Find out more - including how businesses can use the app on the Wirral View website.
Now more than ever we all need to do our bit to Keep Wirral Well.
Thank you and stay safe.
Director of Public Health