'Restrictions may end, but Covid will not' - warn council leaders

Face mask

Council leaders are encouraging people to continue wearing face masks on public transport and busy indoor settings when restrictions ease. - Credit: Pixabay

Council leaders in North Somerset are encouraging people to continue wearing face masks on public transport and in busy indoor settings after restrictions ease, due to rising case numbers.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined his five-point plan to ease Covid restrictions on July 19, also known as Freedom Day. The decision on whether to move into step 4 of the road map out of lockdown will be made on July 12. 


On Freedom Day, the legal requirement to wear face masks will be lifted, as will the one metre plus rule on social distancing. 

There will be no limits on social contact, remaining businesses will be able to open, and capacity limits on bars and restaurants will be lifted. People will no longer be required to work from home and the limit on named care home visitors will be lifted. 

The Prime Minister said people must ‘learn to live’ with Covid and ‘exercise judgement’ and ‘personal choice’.   

Although restrictions could ease, council leaders are encouraging people to continue taking precautions, and to book up for their vaccines as soon as possible. 

In a statement on his Facebook page following the announcement, Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for adult social care and health, said: “Restrictions may end on July 19, but Covid-19 will not.  

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“Case numbers are still rising, including in North Somerset, in part thanks to the more transmissible Delta variant. That means that many people will still catch the virus, some of whom will suffer serious ill-health and even lose their life. 

“It is therefore important that everyone does their bit to think of and protect others. The risk of infection is lower outdoors and the basic rules about hand washing still hold and make a difference. I would also encourage people to continue wearing a face-covering in busy indoor settings and on public transport. 

“It is also really key that if you develop symptoms, you get a test and isolate to protect others and minimise the spread. The vaccination programme is continuing at pace. If you haven't had your first or second vaccine yet, please act now to book your appointment as soon as you can.” 

In the past seven days, 553 people have tested positive for coronavirus in North Somerset – according to NHS data published on July 5. 

The case rate per 100,000 people in North Somerset is 202, compared to 172.8 across the South West, and the national rate at 229.9. 

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