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Steve Rotheram exploring measures to help local people deal with Coronavirus

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region has today announced that work is underway to potentially introduce measures to help local people cope with the spread of the Coronavirus.

People are being encouraged to follow Public Health England’s guidance to help mitigate the spread of the virus, while the Combined Authority’s position will be to coordinate the local business resilience response.

Among the measures under consideration are:

  • Funding support for local businesses

  • Working with bus operators to use the spare capacity in the bus fleet to help deliver food to those who are self-isolating, part of ‘at risk’ groups or those who would usually rely on foodbanks.

  • A potential measure to allow concessionary travel on local buses before 9.30am to allow senior citizens to access special reserved shopping hours for the elderly – while encouraging people to only undertake essential travel

  • Exploring whether temporary reductions in Mersey Tunnel tolls would be effective in supporting people to make essential journeys

Any actions taken will be based on what is going to most effectively support local people and ensure that they comply with appropriate public health advice.

The Mayor has also announced that he will be convening a call on Wednesday with local businesses, trade unions and social enterprises to better understand what help they need to protect themselves and their staff and what the government needs to do to better respond to local need.

Later this week, the Mayor will be establishing an action group drawing together representatives from the Merseyside Resilience Forum, local councils, emergency services, Public Health England and a host of other key organisations. The group will meet regularly and draw on a wide range of expertise to shape a coordinated, region-wide response to the economic impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“In these difficult times, it is important that we all work together to safeguard ourselves and others. I am determined that we will do as much as we can to help our region manage the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

“I am working closely with organisations from across our region to understand the needs of our communities and the challenges we face to help put together our response.

“These measures are just some of the things that we are exploring. As the nature of the spread locally becomes clearer, we will be announcing further measures to help people and businesses in every part of our region.

“In the meantime, I will be lobbying government to provide the appropriate support our public services and local businesses require to help manage things.

“Our region is famed for its community spirit, its kindness and generosity, and its collective solidarity. As we coordinate our response to COVID-19, those values will be needed.”

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