The announcement that Southport has been placed into Tier 2 is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of local residents over recent months. Southport and the wider-Merseyside region is heading in the right direction.
From 02 December, some parts of the hospitality sector were able to reopen alongside the beauty industry, entertainment sector and places of worship. I am pleased that gyms and other recreational activities, which are important to both our physical and mental wellbeing, are also able to reopen.
I do however appreciate that by being placed into Tier 2, Southport will continue to face certain restrictions, and I understand this will particularly be difficult for many businesses in our town, in particular small businesses and those other parts of the hospitality industry such as bars which our town’s economy depends on.
I want to see our town come out of restrictions as soon as possible and life return to normal. The damage the restrictions are having on our economy, on jobs, on businesses, and people’s mental health is beyond calculable.
It is promising that a vaccine is now in the initial phase of being rolled out across the country – we must not forget that in Southport, we have one of the oldest populations in the country and one of the largest ‘at risk’ groups.
I would like to reassure you that all the measures put in place to respond to this outbreak, are proportionate to the threat that we face. It is important that they will only be used when strictly necessary, and will only be in place for as long as required to respond to the situation. It is clear that the virus will be with us for some time, and it is vital that we are able to take necessary steps to save lives, however I understand that the restrictions have caused enormous disruption to people’s lives.
I will be continuing to lobby the Government to ensure Southport receives all the support it needs to get through this pandemic and to put us into Tier 1 as soon as it is safe to do so - and I will continue to campaign passionately for gyms, golf, and other outdoor recreational activities to remain ‘essential’ as an outlet for positive mental health irrespective of which ‘Tier’ our town is placed in.