18 Sep 2020

Residents in St Helens will face new measures in its attempts to stop the significant rise in Covid-19 cases. The new restrictions have been announced by Government and will apply to all council areas across Merseyside as it is made an area of intervention today.

These are the restrictions that apply to St Helens from Tuesday 22nd September:

  • People should not socialise with others from outside their household or support bubble inside a home or private garden
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be by table service only
  • Late night restrictions for hospitality will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas required to close between 10pm and 5am.  

Residents are also urged to follow additional guidance to help limit the growth of the virus: 

  • People should not mix with others from outside their household in a public venue
  • Only use public transport for essential purposes such as travelling to school or work
  • Only go on holiday with your own household or support bubble. 
  • Residents are advised against attended amateur or semi-professional sporting events as spectators. 

These measures are on top of those already introduced by the St Helens Outbreak Management Board on Wednesday 16th September which are: 

  • Parents should wear face coverings when they arrive at the school gates to pick up or drop off their children and not gather in groups of more than six at the school gates
  • Temporarily suspend care home visits
  • Reinforcing the need for staggered drop off/pick up times for schools.   
  • Reviewing the council’s powers to be able to take action against non-compliance with the current legislation. 

The Mobile Testing Unit will also be in St Helens on Saturday 19th September (Earlestown) and Monday 21st September (town centre) with appointments for anyone with coronavirus symptoms bookable via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. 

Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Our rate of infection has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent weeks. We do not want to find ourselves in a situation like we had in March where our NHS struggled to cope with the demand and far too many people lost loved ones to the virus.

“We therefore understand the need to introduce extra measures to help slow the spread of the virus, and we ask all residents and businesses to play their part in keeping each other safe. We know it is difficult as people have just started to enjoy more opportunities to see loved ones again but we have to pull together. We saw the remarkable community spirit that got us through the national lockdown and I’m sure that the people of this borough will do just that again. #StHelensTogether is still here to support those who need our help should they need to isolate or get help in any way.

“I must say that as a Council we are disappointed that we’ve had a week of rumour and speculation from government rather than clarity and engagement, and it’s not ideal that they have decided to announce these measures on a Friday but not introduce them until Tuesday.

“We would ask residents and responsible businesses to start following the new measures straight away if they can. We saw our cases hugely increase from socialising over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, and if we do similar again this weekend we risk making our situation worse in the next two to three weeks and potentially face even stronger restrictions as a result.”