Liverpool City Council: COVID-19 Update

The worldwide spread of Coronavirus is a rapidly evolving situation and one which Liverpool is working with partners in the NHS and other public services to develop contingencies for locally.

Local Resilience Forum (LRF) partners meet regularly to discuss the potential risks and impacts and are well-prepared to respond to any potential incident. They are working closely with partners to share and communicate accurate information in a timely manner.

This guidance is correct as of Friday 13 March 2020.

→ What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world but this is a new strain which has developed called COVID-19.

→ What are the signs and symptoms?
The symptoms are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough but can also include sneezing and shortage of breath.

In some cases, this may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

→ How does this new coronavirus spread – I’m concerned I could catch it?
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets.

How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors; for example:

  • what surface the virus is on (eg: hard or soft)
  • whether it is exposed to sunlight
  • differences in temperature and humidity
  • exposure to cleaning products

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.

→ Can the virus survive on cargo that has arrived from an affected area?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted from post or packages.

→ What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?
The best way to protect ourselves from infections like coronavirus is to wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel, as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin.

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

If you are concerned that you are unwell or unsure about your symptoms, the NHS advice line is 111.

→ Should people wear face masks to protect themselves from infection?
We do not recommend face masks. Whilst they play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.

Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely in order to be effective.

→ Coronavirus in our area
The Government has now moved us to the ‘delay’ phase in the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. People with symptoms include a new, continuous cough and/or a temperature (37.8 degrees and above) and are advised to self-isolate for seven days. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

The main messages are:

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started (this action will help slow the spread of infection). This is regardless of whether you have travelled to affected areas.
  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure you can successfully stay at home
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
  • sleep alone, if possible
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water
  • stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
  • you do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

For more information visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

→ Overseas travel
Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures (temperature checks and health/travel questions) and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.

Check the travel advice pages for all countries you are planning to visit or transit through. For further information about entry requirements, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to.

→ Air travel
As governments and local authorities bring in measures to help slow the spread of the virus, some airlines are changing their schedules or suspending flights for some destinations. If you’re due to travel to an area affected by coronavirus, keep up-to-date with the latest information from your travel company or airline.

→ Cruises
If you are planning to go on a cruise, be aware a COVID-19 outbreak on board is possible, and your travel may be disrupted. People over 70 and with underlying health conditions are now advised not to travel on cruises.
The latest advice can be found here, including for those travelling to and returning from affected countries: www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

If you’re concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your existing travel plans, check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers as applicable. Individual providers may also have their own requirements for customers or passengers to meet.

ABTA has published advice for customers who are planning to travel to destinations with reported cases of coronavirus: www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance implications following the outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider: www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-qa

→ Schools
Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close and pupils should attend as normal if they are well.

The government is advising against all overseas education trips for children under 18 until further notice.

Children with symptoms of coronavirus infection, however mild and regardless of diagnosis, should stay at home for 7 days from when their symptoms started.

Advice for schools on what to do if they have a suspected case, or have people returning from an area affected by coronavirus, can be found here → www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

A Department for Education helpline to answer questions about coronavirus for staff, parents and young people is available:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687.
  • Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

→ Care homes, vulnerable and older people
The council’s Health and Adult Social Care services have been working in partnership with care providers across the city, and all have been provided with information and advice.
It is safe to visit individuals in hospital.

Relatives of existing residents do not pose a risk unless they have been in close and sustained contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Whilst the risk from coronavirus remains moderate, good hygiene procedures, which homes will already be familiar with, can help prevent the spread of illnesses

→ Businesses and employers
Liverpool is open for business as usual.

The government has updated its guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
  • advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from Covid-19

It can be found here → www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

→ Public events
The Premier League and EFL have suspended games until 4 April, meaning no home games for Everton FC, Liverpool FC and Tranmere Rovers FC.

At the moment, the city’s events programme is continuing as normal, as are smaller scale gatherings, such as council meetings.

If you are concerned about whether an event you are attending is affected, please check with the individual venues.

→ Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool
If we are advised to cancel an event then we will let all ticket holders know the full details such as any rearranged dates and information about ticket refunds so please keep an eye on our website and social media.

If an event is cancelled because of coronavirus you will be entitled to a full refund both if you have purchased ticket protection or if you do not have it.

If you have ticket protection but cannot attend an event due to government restrictions then claims will generally be looked at on a case by case basis. If you do not have ticket protection then you will not be entitled to a refund unless the event is cancelled.

Once tickets have been purchased they are non-refundable. We cannot offer any kind of refund unless the event is cancelled or is subject to considerable alteration, such as a change of date. If you do not have ticket protection you will not be able to claim a refund if you have chosen to self-isolate or choose not to attend an event because you are concerned about coronavirus. If you have ticket protection but are unable to attend as you are concerned about the coronavirus you will not be liable for a refund.

If you have ticket protection but are unable to attend as you have chosen to self-isolate as a precautionary measure you will not be entitled to a refund.

If you have ticket protection you may be entitled to a refund if you are in a high-risk group and are isolating yourself on the orders of a doctor and this can be confirmed by a doctor. You will not be entitled to a refund if you do not have ticket protection, unless the event is cancelled.

You may be able to claim a refund if you have contracted the virus and this can be confirmed by a doctor and you have ticket protection. Please read the back of your ticket for more details or contact the box office on 0344 8000 400. For a full list of what this does and doesn’t cover and how to apply for a refund, check here – www.securemybooking.com/make-a-claim/UK

You are not entitled to a refund if you do not have ticket protection, unless the event is cancelled.

→ Council buildings
The Council buildings and services remain open as usual and are safe for visitors and staff.

We’ve been following the advice from Public Health England and taking all the precautionary action necessary to make sure council services and buildings are safeguarded for the public and our staff.

The council has followed the robust infection control processes advised by Public Health England and the NHS.

We’ve also taken additional steps, including sharing good hygiene information and advice with all staff and providing them with the latest information from the Government.

→ Elections
The Government has announced that local, Mayoral, Metro Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections planned for May 2020 have been delayed for a year. Those who were due up for re-election will continue in office until May 2021.

→ Podcast
Produced by Liverpool City Council, two special Merseywaves episodes look at what coronavirus really means for the city, what plans are being put in place to keep people healthy and how organisations are working together to keep the city running.

→ Useful links
Liverpool City Council:

Central Government website:

Public Health England:

Coronavirus action plan:

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