Today it has been confirmed that Knowsley, as well as all other areas within the Liverpool City Region and Warrington, will be subject to additional local restrictions from Tuesday 22 September 2020 due to the significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in the area.
In response to the announcement, Knowsley Council could not be clearer in its message to its residents – Stop. Think. Do the RIGHT thing.
Council Leader, Councillor Graham Morgan said: “I hope that this announcement serves as the big wake-up call which we all need to realise that COVID-19 still presents such a huge risk to us, our families, friends and community as a whole.
“Despite repeated messages around the steps which people need to take to prevent the virus spreading, infection rates here have been escalating in recent weeks and it has been quite startling to see the pace at which these numbers have increased.
“Nobody wanted to see local restrictions come into force but we all have to realise that this is necessary if we want to stop the virus from continuing to spread so quickly.
“So, now it is vital that we all stop and think about our behaviour and follow the advice that has been given. It’s a really simple message – we all need to do the right thing and follow the new rules. That way we can get through this next phase and stop more people becoming ill and more people tragically dying.”
“In Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester), local authority regulations will be signed which means from Tuesday 22 September, the following will be banned:
- Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
- Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.
- Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs and cinemas required to close between 10pm and 5am.
Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:
- Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work.
- Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
Knowsley’s Director of Public Health, Sarah McNulty added: “We know from looking at some of the information coming through from our contact tracing, that household transmission and mixing of households is a key factor in the cases we are seeing. It is understandable that in people’s own homes social distancing is much less likely to happen and clearly from the infection rates we are seeing this is an important contributory factor in the spread of the virus here.
“I really hope these new measures will address this and other factors and help to slow the rate of increase. It is really important to remember that we are preparing to head into the winter months which always bring more health challenges. This year that is certainly a concern so I would urge everyone to do what they can now – follow the rules and commit to playing our part in stifling this virus in our area.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Since Merseyside was identified last week as an ‘area of concern’, there has been a growing expectation that increased restrictions would be put in place for our region.
“We now know that these new restrictions will come in to force from Tuesday next week.
“With Covid-19 cases still increasing rapidly, we must do everything we can to curb rising infection rates and protect our families, communities and businesses. That means that these increased restrictions are now a regrettable but necessary step.
“I know that this will be difficult for us all, but we simply cannot afford to see the progress we have made over the last few months derailed and for our communities and businesses to suffer more than they already have.
“Please be absolutely clear: we are already seeing hospital admissions increase, putting pressure on our NHS and we can’t allow this to reach the crisis levels we saw during national lockdown.
“We must all stop, think and do the right thing, or we will risk seeing infection rates spiral out of control, more tragic and avoidable deaths and a more drastic and damaging lockdown across our region. There is still time for us to stop this from happening.
“Our city region is renowned for being kind, friendly and community-spirited. We now need to stick to those principles, respect these new restrictions and make sure that we look out for one another.”