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Last updated on 14 October

The government has told St Helens Borough, together with the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside, that we are in tier 3 – the highest level of risk in the new national three-level alert system.

We have been told this is because our hospital admissions are high and increasing.

We know residents and businesses will have many questions. We’ve tried to answer some of your top questions on our frequently asked questions page

We will continue to update the FAQs as we work through the guidance and in response to your feedback and queries. If your question isn’t answered, you can find the full details on the government website.

You can also download this infographic, which summarises what the restrictions mean for us.

In the meantime, our officers are putting plans in place to contact and support affected businesses.

Tier 3 restrictions came into force on Wednesday 14 October:

  • Pubs and bars to require customers purchase a substantial meal alongside the purchase of alcohol. If they cannot do this they must close.
  • Gyms and leisure centres to close.
  • Betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres to close.
  • No mixing with anyone not from your household or support bubble socially inside or in private gardens, hospitality or certain ticketed venues.
  • Rule of six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • Advised against travel outside affected area, except for things like work, education, transit journeys. Those in affected area advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK. People outside of the area advised against overnight stays in the area.

Further guidance includes:

  • Organised sport allowed in outdoor settings.
  • Places of worship allowed to stay open with no household mixing allowed.
  • Colleges, schools, nurseries and registered childminders can continue to operate.
  • Informal childcare bubbles allowed for children under 14.
  • 15 people allowed at weddings ceremonies, receptions not allowed.
  • 30 people allowed at funerals and up to 15 people at wakes.

This guidance is on top of other guidance in place for St Helens Borough, which includes:

  • People should work from home wherever possible.
  • Face masks are compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters, and when using taxi or private hire vehicles.
  • Fines for not wearing masks or following rules have been increased to £200 for the first offence.
  • Late-night restrictions for hospitality requiring them to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • 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.
  • Schools should continue to stagger drop off/pick up times.
  • You are advised to avoid visiting care homes except in exceptional circumstances.

NHS services will continue to be open as normal - it is important that you still attend appointments and follow guidelines to keep safe while attending these.

These are new restrictions so please keep checking here for further updates.

Symptoms

What do I do if I show symptoms?

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay at home and begin to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms start. You should arrange a test as soon as possible: ask for a coronavirus test online or call 119. Please read our frequently asked questions about testing.

Symptoms include:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You can opt for a home test kit or to book an appointment at the Haydock Park Racecourse regional testing centre, which is open seven days a week, from 10am to 4pm.

Mobile testing units are used for short periods on varying dates within the borough, which we will publicise in advance.

If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Your household and your support bubble must self-isolate for 14 days. Anyone who develops symptoms in this time must arrange to take a test.

Following a positive test result, you will be contacted by the NHS test and trace service, who will ask you for information about who you have seen in the past 14 days. 

Other updates

Please read our COVID-19 response privacy policy, which explains how we will collect, use and protect personal data specifically with regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

‪The government’s guidance for working safely during COVID-19 has been updated.‬ Business owners should complete risk assessments and clean more often, while recording customers’ details for NHS Test and Trace is now enforced in law.

Face coverings are required by law to be worn in public indoor settings such as cinemas, libraries, hairdressers, museums, places of worship and public areas in hotels.

Here's everything you need to know about face coverings, including how to make your own.

Here is some information if you have been shielding because you're clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, on how the government's pausing of the programme will affect you.

If you need help during the outbreak, or can volunteer to help, please contact St Helens Together on 01744 676767.