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 Pat Hackett, Leader of Wirral Council, said: “We’re spoilt for choice in Wirral when it comes to parks and outdoor beauty spots, and we will enjoy these spaces again when the time is right. But for now, it’s important we all stay home to help keep everyone safe.
“This is a challenging time for us all. While spring has brought nicer weather, I hope residents will think beyond the sunshine this weekend and about what’s most important. Our own health, and the wellbeing of those working on the frontline in the NHS.”
Dr Nicola Stevenson, Medical Director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “It is extremely important that people remain at home at this time and only travel for essential shopping or exercise once a day. Our nurses and doctors are working very hard to ensure patients receive the best care possible and have seen first-hand the devastating impact that COVID-19 can have.
“Members of the public can help to prevent the spread of the virus by staying at home. We would urge people to strictly follow the national guidance, to protect not only yourself but your loved ones and the people in your community. The message is clear to please stay home, protect the NHS and help save lives.
“However for anyone who is in urgent need of care for non-COVID-19 related symptoms we would encourage people to still visit the Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital.”