Jurgen Klopp has backed a call from Liverpool City Council’s Director for Public Health for fans to take responsibility for their behaviour and help curb the spread of coronavirus.
Some fans were criticised after gathering in large groups to celebrate their side’s Premier League title win, despite repeated warnings about maintaining social distancing guidelines in the face of Covid-19, which has now officially claimed more than 44,000 lives in the UK.
Liverpool’s public health director Matt Ashton spoke with Klopp on LFCTV, and had a clear message of restraint.
“Liverpool and Merseyside have been badly hit by coronavirus,” Ashton said. “We have had almost 600 deaths in Liverpool and over 1,600 deaths across Merseyside. I want to express the city’s condolences to all those affected.
“Thankfully, rates of the virus on Merseyside are currently relatively low, but we know that the virus is still circulating in our communities and there are signs of some small increases in some areas.
“Now is not the time for any of us to be complacent. This Sunday, and for the rest of the season, I am asking everybody to stay at home and watch the match with your loved ones.
“We can have a big party when this is all over, but this is not now. Be kind, be safe, be responsible.”
Ashton urged fans to stick to social distancing and personal hygiene measures, using face coverings where possible and getting tested if they had symptoms – a message which Klopp fully endorsed.
“I could not have said it better,” the German added. “Obviously, we have to show responsibility still, we have to show that we are different in the best understanding [of the word], that if we have to do something for the good of our loved ones, we will do it 100 per cent.
“We prove that so often, you prove it so often, and we have to prove it still now, and especially now. This is the biggest challenge for all of us in our lives.
“Even when it looks sometimes like things are easing up a little bit, it’s true but only because we have been so disciplined in the past, and that’s how we have to stay.”
Liverpool's first home fixture as champions sees them face Aston Villa at Anfield on Sunday, following Thursday's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.