The Merseyside Resilience Forum (MRF) is a multi-agency partnership made up of all the organisations needed to prepare for and respond to any emergency in the county
Today, Monday 8 March is the first step in the Government’s roadmap to recovery and lockdown measures will slowly start to be eased with all pupils returning to the classroom – which I know is welcome news for everyone.
There will be a few changes introduced to further promote safe learning environments. This includes secondary school pupils being invited to take part in regular testing. Whilst voluntary, pupils are encouraged to take part so that people who are not displaying COVID symptoms can be identified and importantly, they can’t then pass it on to others. In addition, pupils in Year 7 and above are encouraged to wear face coverings indoors where social distancing can’t be maintained, including in the classroom.
Parents and carers should be reminded to continue following the rules – we are still in a lockdown. This will include to ensure they follow staggered drop off / pick up times allocated by their school, wear a face covering on school premises, don’t congregate in groups and leave the school premises as quickly as possible. We all have a part to play in ensuring our rates remain low – and our schools remain open.
We all want children to get to and from school safely, so where possible,we would encourage them to walk or cycle to school, wear a face covering (unless exempt) on public transport, plan their journey and remember to check timetables, travel with the same group if possible and maintain social distancing where possible. Each school will be able to provide more individual advice and guidance
As well as secondary school pupils being regularly tested for COVID, people who cannot work from home are also encouraged to access regular testing. Individual workplaces may offer this – or each area across the Liverpool City Region has asymptomatic testing facilities. Residents are asked to visit their council website to find out more or visit the NHS interactive map by typing in their postcode.
Residents should also be reminded that a positive test still means that people in their household, support bubble and close contacts must self-isolate for 10 days. This is to reduce the further spread of the virus in our communities. Further information about self-isolation can be found here.
The impact of the pandemic and how it has affected our mental health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. But, there is lots of help and support available through www.kindtoyourmind.org.uk
The four steps in the Government’s roadmap can be found here – please note that the dates are guidance and are subject to change. Further lockdown measures will only be lifted when it is safe to do so. Restrictions will only be lifted if the COVID vaccination programme continues successfully, evidence shows that the vaccine is effectively reducing hospitalisations, infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations and whether any new variants of concern have been detected.
As always, the advice remains to stay safe and continue to follow the rules.