BLOG: We need to redouble our efforts to stay Covid safe

“Stay at home as much as possible. Shop only when necessary. Stay active, but away from others. And challenge friends and relatives who don’t follow the rules.”

Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, with his thoughts on the quickest way out of the latest lockdown...

We are now in the third wave of attack of this terrible Covid pandemic. The national lockdown announced this week is unwanted but totally required.

As with previous waves, the next couple of months are going to be very hard for the city.

Life is disrupted.

People are getting ill.

People are being admitted to hospital.

People are, sadly, dying.

Liverpool's Frontline
Medics inside the Royal Liverpool University Hospital ICU

This is in addition to the usual winter pressures, and the impact of the disruption on health, social care and education on our everyday lives.

There is also a knock-on effect on people trying to get treatment or support for both acute and long term health, wellbeing, and welfare issues.

We have learned from the first two waves that if we pull together as a city, with everybody playing their part, we can and will get through this.

We have shown through things like the response to the first lockdown, the outbreak in Princes Park, the implementation of symptom-free testing and the recovery from the high peak for the second wave, that we are actually well equipped to go further and faster than other areas. We need to do the same this time round.

Wavertree mass testing
Covid testing at Wavertree Tennis Centre

Unfortunately, right now our infection rates are increasing quickly, as they are across the whole of the city region, following on from sharp increases in London, the south east, and beyond. Because we are coming into this wave later than other areas, we will have to work even harder to ensure our rates are as low as the rest of the country at the end of this lockdown period, whenever that may be.

And this is further complicated by the new variant (known as b.1.1.7), which is estimated to be between 50-70% more transmissible. As a result, our covid safe measures need to be 50-70% stronger, and 50-70% more adhered to.

That is why I am calling on everybody to strictly follow the rules in place: stay at home at all times unless you have a reason to leave the house.

I want everybody to demand the same high standards from everybody else – if people in your family or friendship groups are not following the rules, ask them why.

Work at home if at all possible, and avoid ALL close contact with people outside your household/social bubble at all times.

It is important to stay active – mentally and physically – but do it away from others except those in your household.

Furthermore, I want everybody to demand the same high standards from everybody else – if people in your family or friendship groups are not following the rules, ask them why.

Only use shops, businesses and retailers that demonstrate these high standards – don’t give businesses your money if they don’t prioritise your health and well-being.

We desperately need to drive infection rates down, and to give the time and space to our critical services to deliver the care they need for both Covid and non Covid related conditions, and to allow the rollout of the vaccine at as fast a pace as possible.

Please: be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Full guidance on all of the rules is available here.