We are joining forces with colleagues at our local hospital trusts and councils to urge people to stay at home this weekend.
And our 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.”
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “It is as important as ever that you stay at home now, and only go out if you absolutely need to, for food, medical or care needs or for your daily exercise. If you have to go out, social distancing is mandatory for everyone, stay two metres apart, follow any restrictions in place at supermarkets and wash or sanitise your hands often.
“People across the borough and across the country have sacrificed so much adhering to the necessary lockdown, so please don’t let that effort go to waste now.
“By staying home when it is safe to do so, you’re protecting yourself, your family, and your community. You’re helping to protect the NHS, key workers and volunteers that continue their vital work under extreme pressure every day. Stay at home, save lives and if you are at risk, suffering a mental health crisis or living in an abusive environment please know that there is help available at safer.sthelens.gov.uk.”