The Liverpool City Region once again finds itself struggling to contain coronavirus and the subject of new guidance from government.

With cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant rising right across our city region, the government has issued a new package of support to local leaders - as well as new guidance for local people.

The Department of Health today announced that all six boroughs of the city region (Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton and St Helens) as well as other areas like Warrington, will be included in these new measures.

They will join the likes of Lancashire and Greater Manchester in this bracket.

Read more: Warning to minimise travel

As well as a range of support including surge testing, tracing, isolation support and maximising vaccine uptake, there is also new guidance for people living in these affected areas.

The government says people in areas where the Delta variant is spreading quickly should try to minimise travel in and out of these areas.

People should try to meet outside where possible and keep two metres apart from people they don't live with.

There is guidance to try and get tested twice a week and isolate if you are positive, get vaccinated as soon as you are offered it - and continue to work from home if you can.

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The enhanced support across the entire City Region, which also includes Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, will see increased efforts to encourage residents to get the Covid-19 vaccine to help protect them from the virus.

Extra capacity will be made available in areas where there are high infection rates, along with ensuring there is sufficient capacity to meet demand for contact tracing.

Public Health officials are also working with schools to look at additional measures that can be brought in to help reduce the spread such as: encouraging pupils to wear face coverings in communal areas and the possible reintroduction of supervised in-school testing for the remainder of the summer term.

Liverpool's director of public health Matthew Ashton said: “The recent rise in cases is extremely concerning and is a stark reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away.

“The vaccine offers the best possible protection against becoming seriously ill and I would urge everyone who is eligible to get one as soon as possible, even if you have already had Covid, and to also encourage their family and friends to do the same.

“We know that we have more work to do in some communities and areas of the city to increase take-up and we are absolutely focused on that.

“It is really important that people continue to get tested regularly, particularly if you are attending school or a workplace, because you can spread it without knowing you have it.

“This also applies if you have had the vaccine, because while you have good protection, you could be transmitting it to others who haven’t had the jab."

Professor Ashton added: “A combination of getting a vaccine, being tested regularly, isolating and getting a PCR test if you have symptoms, abiding by social distancing, wearing face coverings and not gathering in large groups indoors is the key to us keeping rates under control and making sure we don’t head back towards more draconian measures.

“Hand, face, space and fresh air are all as important now as they were when the virus was at its height.

“By all playing a part, we give ourselves the best possible opportunity to get back to normal life in the not too distant future.”

To book your Covid vaccine, click here: Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

If you have any Covid symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

To get a symptom-free Covid test or request a testing kit, click here: Symptom-free testing – Liverpool City Council