Help keep Hackney safe: keep wearing your mask and protect others next week
Hackney Council is calling on residents to continue wearing masks in busy places and follow sensible public health advice once Government coronavirus restrictions are lifted on Monday – as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise sharply in the borough.
The Prime Minister’s decision to move to Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap on 19 July means most legal restrictions will be removed and replaced with guidance. However, residents are being urged to remain cautious to limit the spread of the virus in the borough.
There were 976 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hackney in the week ending 10 July, the highest since 26 January, and case rates have more than doubled among 20-39 year-olds in just two weeks.
There are still nearly 16,000 residents over 65 or particularly vulnerable to coronavirus that are yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine, and only 48% of all 16-39 year-olds in Hackney have been fully vaccinated – with many only becoming eligible for the jab in the last month. This means they remain at risk of serious illness from the virus.
Homerton Hospital has seen a 67% rise in beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients in one week, with an average of 15 patients in the week ending 13 July.
That’s why Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Husbands, is encouraging everyone to think of others as restrictions are eased, and ensure they:
- Wear a mask in indoor and crowded spaces, in healthcare settings and on public transport
- Wash hands regularly, keep a safe distance from others where possible and open windows when meeting others in indoor spaces
- Book an appointment to receive both doses of the vaccine
- Take a rapid test twice-weekly, and a PCR test if they have symptoms
- Self-isolate immediately if they have any Covid-19 symptoms or are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace
There are nine vaccination sites in Hackney, weekly pop-ups, and walk-in appointments available seven days a week at pharmacies, clinics and community venues like places of worship – and even Clissold Park. A mass vaccination event was also held at Hackney Service Centre this month, where around 1,500 residents received a jab, meaning over 160,000 residents have now safely received their first dose of the vaccine.
As restrictions are ended by the Government, it’s crucial that residents remember that the pandemic isn’t over, the virus is spreading rapidly in Hackney and there is still a high risk of infection – especially for people who have not been fully vaccinated.
Even if it’s no longer legally required, wearing your mask on public transport and in crowded places is simply the decent and sensible thing to do – to protect yourself, others around you and those who are vulnerable to this deadly infection.
The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus is to get vaccinated, and I’d urge anyone who hasn’t yet, to book an appointment today so we can all return to normal as soon as possible.
Visitors to Council buildings will continue to be required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and sanitise their hands on arrival, and safety measures will continue to be in place in leisure centres, schools and other Council facilities.
Transport for London will continue to require masks as a condition of travel on its services, while the NHS will still require them in all healthcare settings like hospitals or GP surgeries.
I know that so many people have made huge sacrifices over the last 18 months, but with rates still high and rising in Hackney I’d urge everyone to think of others and act responsibly as restrictions are eased next week.
My message to Hackney is simple – keep your mask on for now, and help protect those who haven’t been fully vaccinated through no fault of their own, those who are vulnerable to this virus, and the key workers who are continuing to work so hard to keep us all safe.
Please continue to test regularly and get your first, second and booster vaccinations when you are asked. It’s clear coronavirus hasn’t gone away and will be with us for months to come. By continuing to follow common sense you’ll be doing your bit to keep Hackney safe.
Residents may find that some businesses and venues may also ask to see a coronavirus vaccine pass to gain entry. It’s easy to get a vaccine pass on the NHS app or website.
Residents who have been advised that they are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 and have previously been asked to shield should continue to take extra precautions, such as limiting close contact with those they don’t usually meet with, and meeting outdoors, if possible.
Your easy to-do list as legal restrictions are eased