A WHISTON doctor is warning the public to be sensible ahead of bars, pubs and restaurants reopening this Saturday.

As lockdown restrictions ease, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is urging the public to act sensibly and not risk overwhelming A&Es on what has been dubbed "Super Saturday".

Emergency Consultant Dr Andy Ashton said: “We understand the public want to let off steam but we are urging everyone to be careful and use common sense.

"The NHS has coped admirably during this period, but staff across the NHS are exhausted, and the system is very fragile.

"After seeing all of the goodwill, all of the clapping for the NHS, it would be heartbreaking to see Emergency Departments overwhelmed on the first post-lockdown evening by people who have gotten too drunk or been in a fight.

“It has never been more important that our Emergency Departments are for absolute emergencies only, and it has never been more important that people drink responsibly.

“While social distancing measures may have been relaxed, the threat of coronavirus has not gone away; it is still very real, it is still very dangerous.

“We need the public to help; act responsibly, drink responsibly and maintain social distancing.

"It is also really important that people choose the care service that is most appropriate for their needs. If it is not an emergency, call 111, see a pharmacist, book a GP appointment. Only if you are seriously injured or sick should you go to A&E.

“We cannot go back to a world where everyone turns up at a crowded A&E for treatment.

"We need patients to choose the right service at the right time.”