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HEATWAVE: Thousands flock to parks

As the Easter holidays coincides with a heatwave, we're being urged not to crowd in public spaces. 

As the rules preventing small gatherings outdoors are relaxed, Public health bosses are reminding people to enjoy the greater flexibility safely while respecting the coronavirus restrictions that remain in place.

As part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, there's been a further easing of Coronavirus restrictions;
  • Outdoor gatherings of either six people – or two households – are now allowed. This includes private gardens, but there should be no mixing of households indoors
  • Outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen
  • People are able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports
  • The 'stay at home' rule has now ended, but many restrictions still remain in place. People should continue to work from home where possible, minimise the number of journeys and avoiding travel at busy times. Travel abroad is only permitted for a small number of reasons and holidays abroad are still banned.
 Liverpool's Director of Public Health has said he wants to thank everyone who has helped play their part in reducing the R rate in the city, whether by staying at home; following the rules when out and about, getting tested regularly, or isolating when required.
However, he's also urged caution saying we have to remain focussed.
The council's latest Covid-19 update said that in the week up to March 23, Liverpool's infection rate stood at 36.1 cases per 100,000 people.
There was a decline of 66 cases, with 180 recorded in the seven days up to March 23.
Liverpool's continued drop in infection levels stands in contrast to other areas of the region, where levels appear to be at a plateau.
However, rates continue to vary across the city and infections have risen in 10 of the city's 30 wards.
The report said that the city's infection rate has not been this low since early September.
Belle Vale remains the ward with the highest infection levels in the city, with a rate of 93.9 cases per 100,000 people. Twelve wards have suppressed levels of coronavirus.
The latest available vaccination data show high vaccination rates across all eligible age groups.
Starting at 56.9% among those aged 50-54 in the city, the group which most recently became eligible, it rises to more than 92% among the over 80s.
Coronavirus infection numbers continue to fall across the Liverpool City Region.
At its worst, in January, the average infection rate across all six boroughs was more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.
But after months of strict restrictions, the covid picture here is now a very different one.
The average infection rate across the region has been brought down to around 38 cases per 100,000 people.
This is the lowest it has been since the beginning of September.
While we are seeing significant decreases across the region as a whole, a growing number of areas have almost no cases of coronavirus at all.
As of March 23, there are ninety-nine  neighbourhoods are noted as currently having "suppressed" the virus – this means there were just two or fewer confirmed cases.
Police say they will continue to work alongside local authorities and the NHS to ensure the safety of residents as they catch-up with loved ones outdoors, within the limits set out by the government.
Merseyside Police say they have an extensive policing plan in place, and officers will continue patrols on foot and in vehicles across the region over the Easter period. Anyone acting antisocially or flouting the guidelines by meeting indoors or in large groups will be dealt with appropriately by police in order to protect public health.

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