Public urged to support frontline workers by staying home this weekend

Coronavirus stay home protect the NHS save lives

Merseyside Police is joining forces with colleagues at our local hospital trusts and councils to urge people to stay at home this weekend.

And the message is simple – the more you stay at home the less people will become infected with the virus and the quicker we can return to normality and start to live our lives again #StayHomeSaveLives

In the last week we have seen increases in the number in the number of people choosing to visit the region’s beaches, parks and open spaces for more than their permitted daily exercise, and this in no doubt due to the warm weather we are currently experiencing and are expecting to see in place over the weekend.

While we understand that boredom may be setting in and that some people may be frustrated by the restrictions in place we would like to just ask people to remember the human impact that the Coronavirus is having on our communities and the loved ones of families across the county.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: "As each day passes more families across the region are finding themselves facing the harsh reality of the impact of Coronavirus.

"In the last couple of weeks we have seen the number of cases increase in the region and we need to ensure that we do everything possible to support the NHS call to #StayAtHomeSave Lives.

"These are exceptionally challenging times. We know that people are frustrated at being asked to stay in but we all need to stick together and abide by the rules so that everyone stays safe.

"Anyone can contract and spread coronavirus so I would ask the question - is having a picnic, sunbathing on the beach or in a local park, or meeting with friends more important than your health and the health of your loved ones?

"Our beaches and beauty spots will still be there for you to enjoy once the pandemic is over. And the more we can adhere to the restrictions in place now, the quicker we can return to normality. But ignore the restrictions now and we could find ourselves in this position for longer and possibly with harsher restrictions.

"People should only be leaving home for essential activities -  shopping for food and medication, exercising and going to work if they are key workers and can’t work from home – and please remember to abide by social distancing rules when in public places.

"Our officers will continue to be out and about in local communities engaging with the public; checking that people aren’t flouting the restrictions; reminding people why those restrictions are in place and encouraging them to do the right thing and go home.

"We have taken a common sense approach to policing the legislative powers given to the police and we want to work with people and only use the powers as a last resort. But our message is clear if you are consistently and flagrantly ignoring the Government powers we will use the legislation that is open to us.

"Those who are consistently flouting the legislation are putting others at risk, including their own families, and I would appeal to their families to explain to them the potential consequences their actions could have on their loved ones. At the end of the day none of us want to be cooped up at home, but that's a better option that the potential alternative.

"These are unprecedented and challenging times for all of us, but we all have loved ones and we need to think about them and understand the danger we are putting ourselves, and our loved ones, in."

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "I would like to thank everyone who is being responsible and who is following the guidelines. You are protecting the NHS, making the job of the police easier and saving lives. Merseyside’s Resilience Forum and the police report a relatively high degree of compliance with the lockdown restrictions.

"In instances where people are not adhering to the restrictions, Merseyside Police’s approach is to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the guidelines. Enforcement is only being used as a last resort.

"I would continue to encourage everyone to follow the advice and exercise common sense. We know it's hard to stay inside during the warm weather but please continue to #StayHomeSaveLives.  

"If you do have concerns about a significant issue or a serious breach of the restrictions that could cause a substantial risk to people’s health within your community, then please report your concerns."

Dr Nicola Stevenson, Medical Director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: "It is extremely important that people remain at home at this time and only travel for essential shopping or exercise once a day. Our nurses and doctors are working very hard to ensure patients receive the best care possible and have seen first-hand the devastating impact that COVID-19 can have.

"Members of the public can help to prevent the spread of the virus by staying at home. We would urge people to strictly follow the national guidance, to protect not only yourself but your loved ones and the people in your community. The message is clear to please stay home, protect the NHS and help save lives.

 "However for anyone who is in urgent need of care for non-COVID-19 related symptoms we would encourage people to still visit the Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital."

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: "We understand people are in lockdown and for many families a walk in the park is their most convenient way to exercise.

"People who live together and go out together is not an issue - the problem is meeting up with others whilst at the park, stopping and chatting and even in some cases having picnics.

"I’ve seen pictures which show some people are clearly not understanding the severity of the situation.

"Our message is simple - If you go the park, keep moving. Walk, run and keep your distance. During the Covid crisis parks, unfortunately, are not a place for stopping and socialising.

"This is a straightforward issue of common sense. I’m satisfied the majority of people are following the rules. But we don’t want to get the point where the idiotic minority end up ruining it for everyone and we have to look at bringing in stricter measures and new bye-laws to enforce this.

"We have lost too many people already to Covid-19, and have seen too many families cruelly affected, to allow people to think that this virus is someone else’s problem and it’s not going to affect me.

"Staying home does save lives - it’s a hard thing to do, I know, but these small sacrifices are going to make a huge difference and will help us all get closer to the day when the government can start beginning to look at lifting these necessary restrictions.

"So yes, go out. But stay local. And yes, exercise. But don’t hang about. And yes, visit our parks, but please don’t meet up with others. It may seem anti-social but it’s pro-life."