On Monday 29 March step one of the government’s road map out of lockdown will be completed, allowing groups of up to six people, or two households, to meet outside.
The new rules will see residents able to start reconnecting with their friends and family, but vital Covid guidance, such as washing hands, wearing face coverings, and making space, will still be essential in keeping infection rates low in North Somerset.
North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “With lockdown restrictions starting to ease, and our excitement to get back to normal as quickly as possible, it may be tempting to skip ahead.
“But moving faster, and doing those things ahead of the government’s timetable, could put us back into lockdown, and will risk lives.
“We’ve all seen how fast things can change, and how disappointing it feels when that happens.
“So, it’s vitally important we all keep playing our part and doing what we know works. Stay more than 2m away from people you don’t live with, even when you’re meeting outside, wash your hands often, and wear a face covering if you can.”
- people can meet outside, either with one other household or within the ‘rule of six’, including in private gardens
- the stay at home rule is ending – but with advice to stay local as much as possible, continue to work from home, and avoid travel at the busiest times
- outdoor sport facilities will re-open, including golf courses and tennis and basketball courts, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart
- Weddings can take place, attended by up to six people.
Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, said: “Case rates in North Somerset have fallen thanks to everyone who has stayed home and followed the guidance. It has not been easy and we thank each and every person who has kept going, even when it has been difficult.
"Following those basic Covid precautions we’ve all been practising for the last year will be essential to safely unlocking, even if you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative Covid-19 test. We don’t want to risk the gains we’ve made by trying to jump ahead of the step by step approach.
“It is also extremely important that anyone who has a new continuous cough, a temperature, or a change in their sense of taste or smell self-isolate straight away and get a symptomatic test, even if they think the symptoms are down to something else like a cold or recent vaccination side effects.
“By taking it slowly and sticking to the basics we will continue to look after each other and reduce the risk of future outbreaks in North Somerset.”
Covid-19 tests for anyone who has symptoms of the virus – a new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – can be booked at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Information about practical and financial support available for anyone who needs to self-isolate can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together