Celebrate Easter safely
Sadly for a second year running everyone is going to have to celebrate Easter differently due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
This year Easter takes place Friday April 2 to Monday April 5. The usual customs of the festival, a family meal and bank holiday celebrations will need to be adapted, to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Easter Friday and Monday are bank holidays, the festival also coincides with school holidays. The Council wants to ensure residents have the information they need to celebrate safely.
If cases remain low and people continue to take the vaccine when it is offered to them then the Government is planning to slightly ease restrictions from 29 March. From that date the stay at home rule will end and outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside. However people will need to remain cautious.
If residents are planning on using the borough’s parks for things like picnics then they are advised to stay away from busy areas, either coming back at a less busy time or moving to a less busy area of the park.
Residents must remember to continue to follow ‘hands, face, space’. It is important to remember to keep 2m away from those you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with - the virus is still there and even if someone has had a dose of the vaccine, they could still carry and spread the virus unknowingly.
I want to wish everyone celebrating in Hackney and beyond a Happy Easter. Though for a second year we will have to change how we celebrate in order to keep safe, we now have a roadmap to exit the pandemic, which includes regular testing, taking the vaccine when it is offered to you and remembering to keep following ‘hands, face, space’. While later in April the current roadmap suggests that more parts of our borough will reopen, but at Easter this will not have happened, so until the pandemic restrictions are fully lifted, we need to follow the rules and do all we can to keep Hackney safe.
I wish all marking Easter, and also marking Passover, a meaningful and significant time. I also want to use this as an opportunity to thank our faith leaders for showing leadership during these difficult times over the past year. Leaders of all faiths have helped our communities to follow government guidance and supported the vaccine uptake locally by providing videos which have improved confidence within the community. Faith leaders have also supported their congregations at the most difficult times experienced with pastoral care, food and other support that has been invaluable in helping to keep Hackney safe. We would also like to thank NHS teams for all their work through the Barts NHS interfaith network, and Hackney Council for its continuing support.
Everyone should now be taking part in regular rapid no-symptoms COVID-19 testing, at least once a week. There are four sites people can visit in Hackney, find a local site and book your appointment online. Families with children and school or college can also collect rapid test kits for use at home at a number of sites in Hackney or order via online delivery.
If you have coronavirus symptoms, even mild ones, please isolate yourself immediately from other people for 10 days and get a test. If you are asked to self isolate, regardless of symptoms, you must do so to keep from possibly passing it onto others. You can book a test online by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app, or calling 119.
Coronavirus symptoms are:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste