Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, chair of the Merseyside Resilience Forum’s (MRF) Strategic Command Group, has today issued this statement to regional leaders:
“As you know, we are now under national measures in an attempt to control the spread of Coronavirus, to protect health and care services, our schools and young people and our most vulnerable members of the community.
“The new restrictions, which will apply from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, require us to:
Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
Avoid meeting people we do not live with, except for specific purposes.
Close certain businesses and venues.
“It is entirely understandable that our communities may feel nervous about the next four weeks, and I would ask you, as local leaders, to encourage your residents to both lean on and bolster their support networks, and think of their friends, neighbours, key workers and communities. The sooner we can slow the spread of this virus, the sooner we will see ourselves out of lockdown.
“One of the most important steps in controlling the virus is speedy and accurate testing. As you will be aware, the Government has selected Liverpool as the first authority within which to pilot a mass testing program. If successful, authorities across the MRF have asked for it to be rolled out across the rest of our region as quickly as possible.
“Our region has been under increased protective measures for a number of weeks now, and we welcome the news about mass testing. But, it is also vital that the public remembers that local testing options are available across all areas, for anyone with Coronavirus symptoms. Anyone with symptoms, can still book an appointment at a local testing site.
“Protecting our residents is our main priority and while the extremely vulnerable will not yet be asked to shield, they will be advised to take extra care at this time. For these people, and others, there are also many welfare support options available in each authority. Members of the public can visit their local council website to find out what support is available over the next few weeks.
“Finally, I want to also appeal to Merseyside communities to continue to come together. It is easy to lose sight of why we are under a national lockdown, when you are living in the thick of it, but these measures seek to protect us all and drive down infection rates. The sooner we all do the right things, the sooner we can leave lockdown, tight restrictions, and protect the things that make the world go round.
“Please, during this period of national measures, we must all remember to keep washing our hands, wear face coverings when out and about and keep our distance from others.”