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Local COVID-19 restrictions updated

Updated restrictions are set to make it illegal for people in Wirral to mix with other households indoors.

It was announced this morning that Wirral and the rest of Merseyside will be affected by further regulations and guidance aimed at reducing the high rate of COVID-19 infection.

The new rules come into force from 00:01am on Saturday 3rd October.

From that time, people must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting, such as pubs, restaurants and bars. This builds on measures already in place restricting residents from mixing with other households in private homes or gardens. These regulations are enforceable by law and subject to fines.

Alongside the new restrictions is updated advice for residents not to meet people outside their household or bubble outdoors, whether a park, outdoors event or pub garden, to only travel for essential reasons and not to visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

COVID-secure schools and workplaces are not affected. Current rules around childcare arrangements also appear not to be affected at this time.

A guide to restrictions in Wirral: read answers to some of the most common queries we've received

Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “We are committed to tackling the high rate of COVID-19 infection in Wirral as swiftly and effectively as possible and if that means a tougher approach for however long it takes, then we support and will help implement further restrictions.

“However, for any local restrictions to be effective, we have to keep the interests and wellbeing of residents and businesses in clear focus. They need to be able to clearly understand the measures, why they are being taken and the role they have to play in putting them into action.

“It also means that we need to be able to support people and businesses both practically and financially. Locally and with our City Region partners, we will be looking closely at the details of the financial package the government have announced along with these updated restrictions.”

A joint statement issued this morning from all the Leaders of Liverpool City Region councils, local MPs and the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, added:

“As the elected leaders of the Liverpool City Region our first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the 1.6 million people that we represent.  

“It’s absolutely right that we do everything we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and keep as many people safe as possible. Over the past few days, we have engaged in talks with minsters over their proposals for greater restrictions. 

“The measures announced today are a step in the right direction but we need to understand whether they are enough to really address the escalating cases in our city region. 

"Therefore, we are requesting that the government provide us with the scientific evidence so we can understand if these measures will be sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus.   

“In addition, we are also aware that without appropriate financial support from the government, restrictions will damage businesses and industries – in many cases irretrievably – when in normal times they are perfectly viable. 

“Our region is an international destination, and our visitor economy is worth almost £5bn to the city region economy every year and employs over 50,000 people. Over recent years, our hospitality and retail industries have been vibrant and growing. But we have already seen some businesses go under in the face of COVID and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.  

“These new restrictions mean that we will also need an immediate substantial additional package of economic support from the Government urgently and, so far, it is not clear that this is being provided. 

“We will now seek further urgent talks with the Government on these measures, any further measures, and what their response is to our request for a financial support package.”