Liverpool’s public health leaders are asking people who have recently travelled to the area from Tier 4 areas and Wales to get tested for Covid-19.
It follows fears that travellers could have the new strain of the infection – which could be 70 per cent more transmissible than the existing one. There has already been a more than 70 per cent rise in Covid-19 case numbers in the city since the start of December, standing at 156 cases per 100,000 population (19 Dec).
Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, said: “We have done so much good work in bringing down infection levels over the last couple of months and we need to make sure that we do not throw that away.
“This new strain, combined with the movement of people across the country, means the risk of transmission is greater than ever as it is much more infectious than the previous one. So that means that if you come in to contact with someone with this strain you are far more likely to catch it.
“We have to do everything we can to stop it from taking hold here, so we are asking anyone who has travelled here for Christmas from any Tier 4 area or Wales to get tested.
“We also need every single person to redouble their efforts to minimise the chances of catching the infection. This means keeping at least 2 metres away from people at all times, wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently and staying in well ventilated places.
“This is going to be a Christmas like no other for everybody this year, but Covid really is the worst present you could give to your loved ones.”
A list of Liverpool’s testing centres can be found at https://liverpool.gov.uk/smarttesting