As most restrictions on social contact are lifted today, Sheffield City Council’s Director of Public Health is urging people to take it steady and continue to look out for each other.
Greg Fell has said a big thank you to Sheffielders for their amazing efforts throughout the pandemic so far, as the Government moves the nation into Stage 4 of its roadmap out of lockdown.
The Government has said that cases are “high and rising” nationally and that “everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious."
In Sheffield, cases are 516 per 100,000 and rising quickly, with an increase in hospital admissions, so we just need to remain vigilant.
Sheffield City Council’s Greg said: “Moving into the next stage of the roadmap is really positive news for many people, and for local businesses. If you can, I’d encourage you to get out and support them this summer. It’s important to remember though that restrictions may have been lifted, but the pandemic isn’t over, and we all need to look after each other. There will also be people who are nervous about these restrictions lifting, so please do give people the space and consideration they need. Thank you for your amazing efforts so far – your response has been fantastic. Please, take it steady, and keep taking steps to stay safe.”
The new rules
Under the new rules:
- Wearing a face covering becomes voluntary in most places, but the advice remains to wear one in crowded places such as on public transport
- People can meet inside or outside with as many people as they are happy to see
- QR codes and table service in hospitality venues are no longer mandatory
- Nightclubs can open and big events such as festivals and sporting events can go ahead, although vaccine passes may be encouraged or required at some places
- Limits on care home visits will be lifted
- The instruction to work from home is lifted, but this is a decision for employers, and any return is expected to be gradual
- Restrictions are lifted on the number of wedding guests and mourners at funerals
- People who have been fully vaccinated and those under-18 will be permitted to travel to amber countries without the requirement to quarantine upon return to the UK
Find the full guidance at .gov.uk
Limiting the spread
There are plenty of steps we can all take to continue to limit the spread of Covid-19. In Sheffield we are encouraging people to:
- Keep wearing that face covering in busy places
- Have your vaccines – both of them
- Get tested
- Self-isolate if you need to
- Think about the number of people you’re meeting
- Enjoy the outdoors - ventilation is your friend
- Keep washing your hands and keeping surfaces clean
The Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis MP, has also said that people will be required to wear face coverings at the bus stations and interchanges operated by Sheffield City Region. And many businesses will still be putting additional safety measures in place. New government guidance to support businesses through Step 4 is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19. It concentrates on six priority areas where businesses can continue to protect staff and customers and whilst some of the recommendations are not mandatory they must have a current risk assessment which should include Covid risks.
Greg said: “Wearing a mask or face covering in busy indoor places, meeting up outdoors or in well ventilated-places, and thinking about how close you do get to people when you’re socialising can all make a real difference. Get tested regularly, and self-isolate immediately if you need to, for example if you have symptoms or you’ve been told you’ve in contact with someone who tested positive. I also cannot say strongly enough how important it is to get fully vaccinated – it’s our best way back to some sense of normality.
“Taking steps like these will continue to save lives and help stop the spread of Covid-19. I know it’s probably not what people want to hear, but cases are going to rise, new variants are likely to emerge, and at some point, restrictions could return. It’s fantastic that we can get out and enjoy the summer with friends and family, but we don’t want to end up back where we started in a few months’ time.
“Think about the many people working in retail and hospitality too, and please treat them with respect and do what they ask of you where they have extra safety measures in place. We just need to take some care, and think about ourselves and the wellbeing of others.”
For ideas on how to make the most Sheffield this summer visit https://www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/summer or https://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/visit
Support and advice
Help is at www.sheffield.gov.uk including: