The Mayor of Liverpool has revealed his brother is in intensive care with Covid-19 and urged people to follow new Tier 3 rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
Joe Anderson said on Twitter that his eldest brother was in a ‘very serious condition’ in hospital in the city, the first area to face the toughest local lockdown restrictions in England after being placed on a ‘very high’ alert level.
Liverpool currently has an infection rate of 642.3 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the country.
Mr Anderson tweeted on Friday night: ’10 mins ago my sister-in-law a Nursing Sister has told me my eldest brother her husband has got Covid-19 he is in the Royal @LivHospitals in the ICU in a very serious condition.’
His tweet also highlighted a video shared by the Liverpool City Council Twitter account that featured Dr Richard Wenstone making a plea for people to follow coronavirus rules to ease pressure on the NHS.
Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, has revealed that is older brother is in intensive care with coronavirus
Video released by Liverpool City Council shows doctors and nurses caring for critical patients at Liverpool University Hospital as consultant Dr Wenstone says he fears worse is to come
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson urged people to watch the video and follow the rules as he announced that his brother was in ‘serious condition’ in intensive care with coronavirus
Mr Anderson wrote: ‘Please watch the video, follow the rules & understand why we all need to fight the enemy #Covid.’
In the video, Dr Wenstone, a critical care consultant at Royal Liverpool University Hospital says: ‘My biggest worry is we haven’t seen the peak of the second surge yet.
‘Now we’re going into winter and will be expecting the flu season to start as well and of course the winter tends to be a very busy time for hospitals anyway but this is a very serious disease.’
Dr Wenstone went on to say there was ‘no doubt’ the national lockdown earlier this year made a difference.
He added: ‘So we know that if people stick to the rules, we can cut down transmission.’
Earlier on Friday, Mayor Joe Anderson joined Liverpool City Region leaders in branding the tier system of coronavirus regulations a ‘shambles’, following the announcement that gyms in Lancashire can stay open under the strictest measures.
Gyms and leisure centres in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley and Halton were ordered to close from Wednesday as the area was placed in Tier 3.
Draconian Tier Three regulations have seen restaurants close at 10pm, pubs and bars being ordered to close and households have been banned from mixing indoors or outdoors.
Locals are also advised not to travel to and from high risk areas and overnight stays outside of ‘high’ risk areas are banned.
On what would normally be a busy Friday afternoon for bars and pubs, Liverpool city centre was almost lifeless under the new restrictions.
Outdoor seating areas were deserted and inside the situation wasn’t much better, with a maximum of half a dozen people sitting down for a meal with their drinks in any one place.
Gym owner Nicholas Whitcombe was fined £1,000 when he refused to close Body Tech Fitness in Moreton, Wirral, on Wednesday.
But Tier 3 measures for Lancashire announced on Friday do not include the closure of gyms.
Liverpool was the only area to be immediately put into Tier 3, the highest level, on Monday with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham among cities being ranked as Tier 2, or ‘high’ risk.
But the Government has reached an agreement with Lancashire, which has now joined Liverpool in the top bracket.
Liverpool City Region leaders said they were given no choice on the package of measures but a Government spokesman said the interventions were a result of consultation with local authorities.
Mr Anderson earlier tweeted: ‘Liverpool City Region has demanded immediate clarification on why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpool’s close.
‘Inconsistent mess, we now have Tier 3 A and Tier 3 B.’
He ended his tweet with ‘#shambles’.
In a joint statement, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram and leaders of the six boroughs said: ‘We simply will not accept our region being treated differently to other Tier 3 areas, without robust scientific evidence.
‘These inconsistencies in restrictions between areas within the same tier risk undermining the new system from the beginning.
‘So today we are once again demanding that Government urgently supplies us with the scientific evidence behind their decision to close gyms in our area, while allowing them to stay open in other areas.’
Wirral Council leader Jan Williamson said on Twitter: ‘As Liverpool City Region leaders we (are) demanding the evidence from Government immediately as to why our gyms have had to shut and Lancashire can keep theirs open.
‘We need fairness and consistency, what we have is a shambles.’
St Helens leader David Baines said soft play centres in the Liverpool City Region have been allowed to remain open but in Lancashire they must close.
He said in a tweet: ‘Three tiers of restrictions was meant to clarify things but it’s causing more confusion and anger at a local level than anything else.
‘People everywhere need to know and understand what Tier 3 means.’
The UK’s largest gym chain, Pure Gym, said earlier this week it is considering legal action over the Government’s decision to close gyms and fitness centres in the Liverpool area.
A Government spokesman said: ‘Soft play and car boot sales, which remain open in Merseyside, are closed in Lancashire, whereas the opposite is the case for gyms. Arcades, betting shops and casinos are closed in both areas.
‘Intensive discussions with local leaders in both areas identified those which should close in each.
‘We have been clear that additional interventions above the baseline for very high alert areas are subject to consultation with local authorities based on local evidence.’
Tier 1 restrictions, which the majority of England have been placed under, are believed to mirror the rules currently in place across the country.
It includes the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.
Under Tier Two restrictions, households are also banned from meeting indoors, even in hospitality venues.
Two households are allowed to socialise outdoors but must stay within the six-person limit and adhere to social distancing.
There is an ongoing conflict about Manchester will become a Tier Three lockdown area, with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham arguing that the North was being treated like a ‘canary in the coalmine’ with experimental restrictions.
Draconian Tier Three regulations have seen restaurants close at 10pm, pubs and bars being ordered to close and households have been banned from mixing indoors or outdoors
Drinkers in Liverpool are being asked to sign a disclaimer at pubs that state they are from the same household as the city has been thrown into Tier Three lockdown with stringent new rules
Mr Burnham has launched an attack at the Government’s bid to make Greater Manchester a ‘sacrificial lamb’ by imposing the toughest lockdown measures seen country-wide.
He has claimed that if London was in the same position there would be a nationwide clampdown, and has even threatened legal action if the Tier Three lockdown was imposed.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock blasted Mr Burnham’s interventions on Wednesday, urging local leaders to work with the Government to ‘put in place the measures that are needed in Greater Manchester, (and) across the North West’.
But local Tory MPs have also rejected calls for the region to be placed into Tier Three.
Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West in Greater Manchester, said: ‘The case has not been made for Greater Manchester to move into a Tier Three lockdown.’
The Prime Minister told Mr Burnham that ‘time is of the essence’ and the ‘situation in Greater Manchester is grave and it worsens with each passing day’.
This comes as the UK has recorded another 15,650 cases today, which is 13 per cent higher than the 13,864 recorded last Friday.
Talking about the situation in Greater Manchester, Mr Johnson said today: ‘On present trends in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave.
‘So I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively. I cannot stress enough time is of the essence, each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.
‘Of course if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents but our efforts will be so much more effective if we work together.’
Mr Johnson has made clear his preference is to work with Mr Burnham but he said if there is a continued failure to reach an agreement on moving into Tier Three then ‘I will need to intervene’.
Placing large chunks of the North into Tier Three is central to the Prime Minister’s plan to avoid a national circuit-breaker lockdown, by targeting action at the areas with the highest infection rates.
But ministers fear that if Labour sides with Tory rebels, the Government could be defeated in a confirmatory vote on the regulations, which would be needed next month to keep them in force.
Mr Johnson also failed to categorically rule out imposing a nationwide lockdown as he would only go as far as saying: ‘If at all possible I want to avoid another national lockdown.’