A 'vindication' says Steve Rotheram as Liverpool City Region moves to Tier 2

261120 Liverpool, England PA
Liverpool City Region will move out of the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions when England's second lockdown ends. Credit: PA

Liverpool City Region will move out of the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions when England's second lockdown ends.

Before the lockdown was imposed on November 5, Liverpool City Region had been under Tier 3 restrictions and in recent weeks, the city itself has been undergoing the UK's first mass testing pilot.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, tweeted that the move into Tier 2 was “vindication of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice shown by people across our region for the past two months”.

“These restrictions will still be tough for many local businesses and Covid remains a threat, so please stay safe,” he added.

When the city region entered Tier 3 restrictions seven weeks ago it had the highest transmission rates in the country and there were fears the NHS would be overwhelmed

A joint statement from Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, and the six Liverpool City Regional Local Authorities welcomed the Tier 2 announcement.

The statement added: “While today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcome, no one should be in any doubt that many difficult months ahead lie ahead.   

“We know that these new Tier 2 restrictions will still be tough for many of our businesses and, until a full vaccination programme has been rolled out, the threat from COVID remains a very real and present danger."

Director of public health for Liverpool Matthew Ashton thanked residents who had taken part in the mass coronavirus testing programme in the city but said they must not lose sight that it was a "killer virus".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the mass testing approach "has the potential to be a powerful new weapon in our fight against Covid-19". Credit: PA

He said: "So we are now on a mission to keep levels low in our city up to and beyond Christmas, through the cold winter months and in to spring - because the last thing any of us want is a return to a national lockdown, or local restrictions, in January or February.

"That means staying in the habit of getting tested regularly, using the walk-up centres that we will be establishing when the pilot transitions into a more sustainable scheme.

"But a negative test result does not let you get on with your life with no other control measures - it is reduced risk, not no risk. So we still need to follow the rules around regular hand washing, social distancing and avoiding household mixing."

Matt Hancock said the tiers will be reviewed in a fortnight and kept "regularly under review after that".