MERSEYSIDE Police and NHS chiefs are reminding the communities of the importance of staying at home this weekend ahead of VE Day 75 celebrations tomorrow (May 8).
The region has a proud military history and is home to military veterans and serving personnel who continue to put their lives on the line in order to keep us safe.
The police and NHS want the people of Merseyside to return the favour by doing everything they can to keep themselves and everybody else safe during the current coronavirus pandemic. That means continuing to abide by the government’s Coronavirus lockdown rule and only leaving home for essential activities - shopping for food and medication, exercising and going to work if they are key workers or can’t work from home - and also abiding by social distancing when in public places.
Chief Inspector Chris Joughin said: “Many thousands of people made sacrifices in order to protect us during World War II so the very least we can all do is listen to the government when they ask us to stay indoors.
“We know that VE Day is as an opportunity to remember the people who make the ultimate sacrifice for us but we want to ensure that people still keep themselves and others safe. Please remember why the restrictions are in place and use the time at home this bank holiday weekend to do things together as a family.
“People should not be using the bank holiday as an excuse to hold a party – unless with members of their own household – to go out and visit or socialise with friends and family, or congregate in groups on beaches or in parks or beauty spots.
“We know that the vast majority of the public across Merseyside are heeding the Government advice and only going out for essential reasons. But we also know that there are some people who continue to flout the regulations.
“As with the previous bank holidays weekend we will be out and about to check that people aren’t flouting the restrictions and to remind people why the restrictions are in place and to encourage them to do the right thing and go home.
“We will also be doing ad hoc stops to check that motorists are making essential journeys and officers on foot patrols will be talking to members of the public who are out and about to check that they are not breaching the regulations.
“Last weekend we made arrests and issued fines as a result of people ignoring the rules and having parties with people who didn’t live in their households and in some cases weren’t even from Merseyside. We will continue to take action against people and will act when we are given information from the community about incidents like this taking place.”
Colonel Russell Miller, Commander Army HQ North West, said: “This Friday we in the military and the public as a whole will pause to remember the actions of our VE Day heroes.
"It is important that we do so and equally important that all of us honour the huge sacrifices made during World War II by making the small personal sacrifice of staying at home, keeping ourselves and others safe, so that we can return to normal and enjoy the freedoms they fought so hard to defend as soon as possible.”
Kate Davies CBE, Director of Armed Forces at NHS England and NHS Improvement, added: “This weekend’s VE Day commemorations are a reminder of the remarkable difference our armed forces have made to our country throughout history and the contribution they continue to make today on the NHS frontline in the fight against coronavirus.
“At a time when we are facing significant uncertainty and long periods of isolation which can be particularly worrying, it has never been more important for veterans to reach out if they need support– help is available – with new digital offers which ex-personnel are already benefiting from.”