The Mayor of Liverpool has revealed his brother is in intensive care with Covid-19 and urged people to follow the rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
Joe Anderson said on Twitter that his eldest brother was in a “very serious condition” in hospital in the city, the first area to face the toughest local lockdown restrictions in England after being placed on a “very high” alert level.
Mr Anderson tweeted on Friday night: “10 mins ago my sister-in-law a Nursing Sister has told me my eldest brother her husband has got Covid-19 he is in the Royal @LivHospitals in the ICU in a very serious condition.”
His tweet also highlighted a video shared by the Liverpool City Council Twitter account that featured Dr Richard Wenstone making a plea for people to follow coronavirus rules to ease pressure on the NHS.
Mr Anderson wrote: “Please watch the video, follow the rules & understand why we all need to fight the enemy #Covid.”
Earlier on Friday, he joined Liverpool City Region leaders in branding the tier system of coronavirus regulations a “shambles”, following the announcement that gyms in Lancashire can stay open under the strictest measures.
Joe Anderson is the elected mayor of Liverpool, whereas Steve Rotheram is mayor of the wider Liverpool City Region which incorporates the city itself and the nearby local authorities.
Gyms and leisure centres in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley and Halton were ordered to close from Wednesday as the area was placed in Tier 3.
Gym owner Nicholas Whitcombe was fined £1,000 when he refused to close Body Tech Fitness in Moreton, Wirral, on Wednesday.
But Tier 3 measures for Lancashire announced on Friday do not include the closure of gyms.
Liverpool City Region leaders said they were given no choice on the package of measures but a Government spokesman said the interventions were a result of consultation with local authorities.
Mr Anderson earlier tweeted: “Liverpool City Region has demanded immediate clarification on why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpool’s close.
“Inconsistent mess, we now have Tier 3 A and Tier 3 B.”
He ended his tweet with “#shambles”.
In a joint statement, Mr Rotheram and leaders of the six boroughs said: “We simply will not accept our region being treated differently to other Tier 3 areas, without robust scientific evidence.
“These inconsistencies in restrictions between areas within the same tier risk undermining the new system from the beginning.
“So today we are once again demanding that Government urgently supplies us with the scientific evidence behind their decision to close gyms in our area, while allowing them to stay open in other areas.”
Wirral Council leader Jan Williamson said on Twitter: “As Liverpool City Region leaders we (are) demanding the evidence from Government immediately as to why our gyms have had to shut and Lancashire can keep theirs open.
“We need fairness and consistency, what we have is a shambles.”
St Helens leader David Baines said soft play centres in the Liverpool City Region have been allowed to remain open but in Lancashire they must close.
He said in a tweet: “Three tiers of restrictions was meant to clarify things but it’s causing more confusion and anger at a local level than anything else.
“People everywhere need to know and understand what Tier 3 means.”
The UK’s largest gym chain, Pure Gym, said earlier this week it is considering legal action over the Government’s decision to close gyms and fitness centres in the Liverpool area.
A Government spokesman said: “Soft play and car boot sales, which remain open in Merseyside, are closed in Lancashire, whereas the opposite is the case for gyms. Arcades, betting shops and casinos are closed in both areas.
“Intensive discussions with local leaders in both areas identified those which should close in each.
“We have been clear that additional interventions above the baseline for very high alert areas are subject to consultation with local authorities based on local evidence.”