A Covid-19 / Coronavirus warning on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Dedicated Covid-19 testing sites will soon be sited in locations within Southport after the discovery of the South African variant. 

Southport MP Damien Moore is asking people over 16 years old in our town to get tested for the virus, so health officials can track any potential spread. 

The MP has met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson to discuss the current situation. 

However he says that, for the majority of people living in Southport, “there is no reason to change behaviour as a result of this new variant as long as you are already following the Government guidelines and regulations”.

He said: “Following the Government’s announcement yesterday about the new South African variant in Southport, I have received a number of emails and telephone calls from constituents who are quite rightly concerned about the spread of the virus in our town.

“Now that I have had meetings with the Chief Executive of Sefton Council, Dwayne Johnson, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, about this new variant, I wanted to update constituents about what measures have been put in place to control the spread of the disease, and to reaffirm the importance of the Government’s guidance on maintaining social distancing.

“Whilst this new variant can still be tackled through vaccination, it could be more transmissible and therefore, could spread more quickly through our town. That’s why it is important additional testing is introduced to both identify and limit the number of people who might be exposed to it, to prevent it from being passed on. 

“I have been informed that Sefton Council will be setting up dedicated testing sites across the areas affected to identify anyone who has been exposed to this new variant and once those sites are in place and announced, I would encourage anyone aged over 16 in those areas to get tested as soon as possible, regardless of whether you are displaying symptoms or not. This will help both the Government and Sefton Council identify any cases of the new variant and reduce exposure.

“However, for the majority of people living in our town, there is no reason to change behaviour as a result of this new variant as long as you are already following the Government guidelines and regulations. This means staying at home except for essential purposes such as shopping for essential items, going to work if you cannot work from home, essential medical appointments, or to provide care to another. And you should continue to maintain at least 2-metres’ distancing, wearing a mask or face covering while outside and washing your hands frequently.” 

People in Southport will be keen to learn more about where, when and how the new Covid testing programme is going to take place. 

Damien Moore said: “Sefton Council and the Government is still working out how and where the additional tests are going to take place in the light of yesterday’s announcement, but it’s important to remember that comprehensive testing has been in place across Southport since April, including the testing centres at Southport Town Hall and Dunes Splash World [key workers only]. If you are experiencing any symptoms, I would encourage you to self-isolate and get tested at the earliest opportunity.

“I am pleased the Government and Sefton Council have responded quickly to test communities for the presence of this new variant with the aim of bringing it under control quickly. But as ever, if you have any particular concerns about vaccinations, testing, or this new variant, you can contact me on the details below.

damien.moore.mp@parliament.uk

01704 500 577

Ground Floor, Post Office Avenue, Southport, PR9 0US.”

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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