Covid warning as crowds expected to flock to North Somerset

Busy Weston beach

People are being encouraged to reduce the risk of Covid-19 by staying outside, and washing their hands regularly, due to rising virus rates. - Credit: Mark Atherton

Council leaders are encouraging people to stay safe over the bank holiday weekend as high numbers of visitors are expected amid rising coronavirus rates.

The South West region has the highest infection rate in England at 475 per 100,000 residents - significantly higher than England's rate of 327.6.

North Somerset's rates had been dropping following a peak a few weeks ago, but numbers are on the rise again.

People are being encouraged to reduce risks by staying outside, avoiding crowded areas, wearing face coverings and washing their hands.

Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, said: “Covid is still a very real risk and we are unfortunately continuing to see our residents hospitalised due to this nasty infection.

“This isn’t a disease that only older people need to worry about. Our highest Covid rates are in 18 to 30-year-olds, which is also the group with the lowest vaccination rates. This means you are more likely to catch Covid and get seriously ill as a result, as you don’t have the protections offered by vaccinations, if you are younger.

“So, it’s really important to keep doing those things you know will lower your risk of catching the disease when you are out and about.”

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Anyone attending an event, show, concert or music festival is encouraged to take a rapid flow test beforehand, and to stay home if it is positive.

The council's director of public health, Matt Lenny, said: “We all know what will help reduce our own risk of catching and spreading Covid-19, now we need to make sure we keep up those good habits.

“Washing our hands regularly, covering our faces when we’re in crowds – especially when we’re indoors, and keeping distance between ourselves and those we don’t live with are still important.

“As are the benefits of fresh air. Get outside as much as you can or open up windows and doors if you are inside.

“Most importantly, if you do develop symptoms of Covid – a new continuous cough, a change to your sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – stay home and book a symptomatic Covid-19."

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus can book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

Rapid tests can be ordered online, or collected from most pharmacies and North Somerset Council's mobile testing unit. For details, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting


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