Since November 6, 1,500 people in Liverpool – England’s first Tier 3 region – have tested positive for Covid-19, enabling them to self-isolate. Already, 150,000, almost a third of the city’s 500,000 residents, have been tested by the 2,000-strong Army team. A month ago, the city had more than 700 positive cases per 100,000, but that’s plunged to 222.
Intensive care units in the city’s hospitals are around 80 per cent full, down from 95 per cent.
Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson said: “I was always confident the trial andTier 3 would work. The take-up of tests here has been incredible. I’m so proud.
“Of the 1,500 the trial has tested positive with Covid, 700 were asymptomatic, unaware they had it.
“They could have spread that anywhere and now they are self-isolating, which is great.
“I lost my own brother Bill to Covid and know the heartache and pain this cruel disease can bring.
“We’ve proved mass testing works and more cities should be screaming for it – it breaks the Covid infection chain.
“I hope we have earned a brief respite to celebrate Christmas without undoing all this hard work.”
Father-of-four Mr Anderson, 62, said he would love to see all his six grandchildren, but it’s impossible this Christmas. Instead he hopes the trial may enable Liverpool to enter Tier 2, so he and wife Marg, 62, can see some family.
Mr Anderson said: “Although this December will be tough for all of us we have to think of future Christmases to come.
“My wife is a nurse but just retired, as I was having to shield from Covid and she was being exposed to it.
“For the first time in about 25 years we will be together all Christmas Day.”
In Tier 2, people can meet in groups of six outside – in a public space or private garden.
The mayor added: “I hope we’ve demonstrated we warrant Tier 2 now.That would be a boost for families over Christmas as well as the hospitality industry and struggling local businesses.”