Coronavirus: Liverpool mayor urges people to follow rules after brother catches COVID-19

The mayor of Liverpool has urged people to follow the city’s strict coronavirus lockdown rules as he revealed his brother has caught the illness.

Joe Anderson said on Twitter on Friday evening: “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.

Mr Anderson wrote: “Please watch the video, follow the rules & understand why we all need to fight the enemy #Covid.”

Earlier, he joined Liverpool City Region leaders in branding the tier system of coronavirus regulations a “shambles”, after Lancashire was allowed to keep its gyms open when its Tier 3 restrictions were announced.

Gyms and leisure centres in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley and Halton were ordered to close from Wednesday as the area was also placed in Tier 3.

The UK’s largest gym chain, Pure Gym, is considering legal action over the decision to close gyms and fitness centres in the Liverpool area.

One gym owner was fined £1,000 when he refused to close his site in Wirral, on Wednesday.

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 described the tier system as a “shambles” as he confirmed he had asked for urgent clarification on “why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpool’s close”.

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.”

Mr Anderson’s words were echoed by Wirral Council leader Jan Williamson, who said on Twitter: “We need fairness and consistency, what we have is a shambles.”

St Helens leader David Baines said in a tweet: “People everywhere need to know and understand what Tier 3 means.”

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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.”

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