Many of you will be aware of the Prime Minister’s confirmation yesterday that the government has announced a 4 week pause before further easing current Covid restrictions. You will probably also be aware that this is because the so-called ‘Delta’ variant, first identified in India, is fueling a rise in Covid cases in all parts of the country. Whilst this new variant looks to be more infectious, the good news is that growing evidence shows that our vaccines are highly effective, especially after two doses. The strategy is to put the final stage of unlocking on hold until 19 July, to allow more people to be vaccinated.
So, the main message this week is to ask everyone to hang in there a little longer and to keep following the current guidance. As has always been the case in this pandemic, there will be setbacks, but if we all work together, we can all help turn the tide as quickly as possible. Another four weeks is not so long if it enables the relaxation of restrictions to be permanent.
How to do your bit
Please keep following the current guidance on what we can and cannot do. When you do meet friends and family, err on the side of caution and try to stay outdoors where possible. Remember that around 1 in 3 people with Covid do not have symptoms.
· Take your vaccine – and your second dose – when it’s your turn (anyone aged 23 or over, or who will be 23 before 1 July is now eligible)
· Use free lateral flow tests (LFT) twice a week even if you’ve had a vaccine
· If you test positive from an LFT test, isolate your whole household and book a PCR test to confirm whether you have Covid-19. This is important to stop the virus spreading.
· If you develop symptoms of Covid-19, isolate your whole household and book a PCR test for anyone with symptoms
· Where possible, stay outside and meet others in the fresh air – if you are indoors, try to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation
· Carry on working from home where you can and in agreement with your employer
· Wear your face covering when it’s needed