Last week the Prime Minister outlined the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England.
This is incredibly good news, but we must continue to follow existing guidelines of washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintaining a social distance where required. By doing this we can continue to see a decline in cases.
The roadmap has four steps with a minimum of five weeks between each step.
Next week, we will see schools and colleges return from Monday 8 March – the actual return to school may be staggered for some year groups.
Face coverings have been recommended for secondary school students and parents and staff in primary schools. University students can also return for practical courses.
All schools and colleges have been preparing for this and have implemented a number of measures to help social distancing and keep pupils, teachers and other staff as safe as possible.
If you have any concerns please do contact the school who will outline what measures they have taken.
Also on Monday 8 March two people from different households will be allowed to meet outside for recreation, not just exercise, and one nominated person can visit care homes as long as they use PPE, have a lateral flow test and keep physical contact to a minimum.
Further relaxations will take place on 29 March including being allowed to meet more people outside, some outdoor sports being able to restart and an end to the ‘stay at home’ rule.
If everything goes well, we will see Step Two in mid-April and Step Three in mid-May with more relaxations at each stage.
Step Four will happen no earlier than 21 June, at this step we will see all legal limits on social contact removed with an ambition to reopen the remaining closed sectors of the economy such as nightclubs
You can read the Prime Minister’s statement at here.
There is also a useful guide on the BBC’s website here.
We have seen a very good take-up of vaccinations locally. I would urge everyone to arrange an appointment when contacted by their GP or by letter from NHS England.
Please do remember we must remain cautious and we must continue to follow existing guidelines of washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintaining a social distance where required.
This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson and published unedited.