Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Given the very rapid rise of infections in the Liverpool City Region and across the country, I have been calling for tighter restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus and save lives while we wait for vaccines to fully roll out.
“We are now at a critical moment. We are yet to see the full effects of the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas and, over the past few weeks, we’ve seen just how quickly the new variant of the virus can spread and multiply. Considering all of this, an effective national lockdown is now the right thing to do.
“Unlike last March, we now have a clear end point in sight, when the vaccination programme is fully up and running. The Government must provide the resource needed to speed up the roll out of the vaccine as quickly as possible. It is also vital that businesses, councils and individuals are given the financial support they need to manage during this period.
“Every day of lost schooling impacts on our children and the impact is most hard on the poorest and most vulnerable. With schools closing, there should be an urgent scheme to ensure that all children have the equipment and internet access they need to continue learning and stop them falling even further behind.”