Health chiefs urge public not to drop their guard as coronavirus restrictions ease
Monday, May 17, sees venues allowed to welcome customers indoors and families allowed to visit relatives and stay overnight.
Now health chiefs at the ‘LA7’ group of local authorities – Sunderland, South and North Tyneside, Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead and Durham – have issued a call to remember the threat of the virus has not gone away.
The statement, signed by the public health directors of all seven authorities, says Monday’s loosening of restrictions is the result of sacrifices everyone has made.
"The changes on Monday will make it easier for families to reunite. More businesses can reopen or welcome customers indoors and people can enjoy breaks in the UK,” it says.
“And, while we are able to embrace loved ones with less fear of putting one another in danger, we still need to do this cautiously so as not to inadvertently pass on the virus.
“We cannot afford to forget that Covid is still a threat, and our communities are still at risk.
“The measures we have been taking throughout the course of the pandemic – Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air – remain of enormous importance, as does making changes to our lives such as regular testing to help identify those of us who have Covid without knowing it,” says the letter.
“This will become even more important as we get out and about more and begin to mix in larger numbers such as at organised events.
Wearing face coverings in shops, on public transport, or when moving around indoor hospitality settings, will still protect customers and staff, while opening windows when welcoming friends indoors and maintaining social distance also lessens the risk.
“Public transport operators have gone to great lengths to make Metro, buses and trains as safe as possible, and this is helped if you make sure you follow the Covid safety measures in place,” the statement says.
“Keep on doing your bit to protect others, take up the offer of both vaccine doses when your time comes, and together we will reach Stage Four of the roadmap on June 21.”