Council urges caution as lockdown restrictions ease

Friends drinking together

Council leaders in North Somerset are urging people to be cautious as restrictions ease. - Credit: Pixabay

Health leaders in North Somerset are urging people to be cautious as restrictions are relaxed.

Step three of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown began yesterday (Monday) allowing people to socialise indoors and hospitality and entertainment venues to reopen. Groups of six or two households can meet indoors, while up to 30 can meet outside.

The most significant change is a shift to personal choice, enabling people to decide whether to socially distance from friends and family when they meet up. But experts are warning people to proceed with caution to keep Covid-19 rates down.

More: What can I do when Covid lockdown eases on May 17.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices we’ve made, we’re seeing the lowest coronavirus rates since last summer in North Somerset.

“But this deadly virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still circulating, and some people will be more vulnerable than others to the dangers. While vaccination significantly reduces the risk, it does not remove it completely.

“Having lived with this for more than a year, we’re aware of the risks of socialising and how quickly a few cases can spread if we aren’t careful.

“Remembering this, making carefully considered choices about what we feel comfortable to do in the coming weeks and months, and avoiding situations that we feel are too risky, will keep Covid under control in North Somerset.”

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Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, added: “We need to take this next step slowly and safely and not undo all the hard work of the last year.

“We know Covid is less likely to spread outside, so if we can choose to stay outside as much as possible, even though we can meet inside, we will be reducing our risk.

“If the English weather forces us inside, opening windows will help keep air moving. And the basics of washing hands, covering faces, and making space, continue to be essential."

In line with the new rules, remaining council services have opened with Covid safety restrictions still in place.

Weston’s Playhouse theatre is reopening its doors, and trial events will be taking place at the Tropicana.

Appointments are still needed for many services, such as at the town hall, children’s centres, or at the Motex centre, the equipment demonstration centre in Weston.

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