Caution the Watch Word as we Move to Step Three on Government Covid-19 Road Map
This week, more Covid-19 restrictions have been relaxed as we have reached Step 3 of the government’s roadmap.
This is of course good news as we have all been looking forward to more places opening back up, being able to meet friends and family indoors and a return to a more normal way of life. But it is still really important that we remember all the precautions we have been taking to help stop the spread of coronavirus and continue with these where possible.
Now, you can meet in groups of up to six, or a maximum of two households, indoors. This means you are likely to be in close contact with friends or family. This is something that many of us have been looking forward to for a very long time, but the public health advice to all residents is to please remain cautious.
South Gloucestershire Director of Public Health, Sara Blackmore, said: “The Government has said that we can now all make individual choices about how and whether to maintain social distancing with close family and friends. I know lots of people want to hug their loved ones again and understand the urge to put your arms around your loved ones. But please think carefully, particularly about hugging and remain cautious about the risks from close personal contact as this remains a direct way of transmitting the disease.
“Remember the risks may be greater for some people than others. For instance, if they are pregnant, clinically extremely vulnerable or older and particularly if one or both of you have not been fully vaccinated.”
If you do choose to meet inside, there are a number of things you can do to help keep yourself and those you are meeting with safe.
Limit the number of people you see and for how long to help reduce the risks of spreading the virus.
Keep windows open while you are inside to help minimise transmission or better still, stay outside if possible.
Sara Blackmore added: “We also want to encourage everyone to take the vaccine when it’s your turn and make sure you have both your doses. Vaccination is key to our recovery from Covid-19 and reduces the chances of catching and spreading Covid-19 and of becoming seriously ill. It is important to remember though that the vaccine does not eliminate your chance of catching Covid, which is why all the other measures you can take to protect yourself and others are still so important.
“Everyone over 16 without Covid-19 symptoms should also be taking regular rapid tests. Twice-weekly testing at home is helping identify cases we wouldn’t otherwise know about, prompting people to isolate and stopping further spread. Rapid tests show results in 30 minutes and there are lots of ways to get the test to do at home. See our website at www.southglos.gov.uk/testing for more details.
“Lastly, don’t forget Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air. Washing our hands, covering faces and making space for others has helped us get this far and we must not stop now. Just because you can meet inside in small groups does not mean social distancing should be forgotten and rules apply in workplaces, hospitality and public venues.
“I hope you enjoy seeing loved ones again and visiting the amazing venues and places that are reopening in South Gloucestershire. Just please do so safely. We’re on the right track – let’s keep going.”
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 – a new, continuous cough, high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell – book a standard test at GOV.UK
Sara Blackmore has recorded a video to share this message with residents, which is available via the council’s YouTube and social media channels. To view the video, please go to Sara Blackmore (Director of Public Health South Gloucestershire) discusses Step Three of the roadmap – YouTube.