Keep yourself safe, keep your family safe, and keep Hackney safe
As some coronavirus restrictions are eased this Saturday, Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health, is urging residents to continue to act responsibly and protect themselves and others from coronavirus.
To combat the coronavirus pandemic and keep people safe, we’ve been under lockdown since 23 March. This has been effective at reducing the amount of virus in circulation and cutting our risk of getting infected. But it’s been a difficult time and we’ve all missed normal things, like being able to meet with friends and family, getting our hair cut or going to the shops. So, it's good news that we’ll be able to get back to something like life as we knew it before the lockdown. It will be tempting to go all out, as the lockdown measures are eased and pubs, hairdressers, synagogues and churches open up.
So, what are we allowed to do now? From 4 July:
1. It’s possible to meet in groups with up to two households (beyond your support bubble, which counts as one)
2. You can meet outdoors in groups of up to six people, from any household
3. You can go to a religious service, not just pray on your own
4. You can visit a pub, restaurant, community centre or library, although the reopening of Council facilities remains under review
5. Indoor gyms and leisure centres are staying closed for now, but outdoor gyms and play areas will be able to open
The full guidance about what you can and can't do is available on the Government's coronavirus website.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that, on average, one in every 1,111 people in the community was infected with coronavirus between 8 and 21 June. This is an increase from one in 1700 over the previous fortnight. This shows that just in the past couple weeks, since lockdown measures started to be lifted, more people are getting infected with coronavirus. What does this mean?
Well, the level of coronavirus in circulation is still very low and your individual risk of encountering someone who is infected while you’re out and about is low. But you must continue to take precautions, because you have no way of knowing whether someone is infected or not. So, while you can meet with friends or family, or go to the shops, remember the three Ws:
1. Wash your hands (or use hand sanitiser)
2. Wear a mask on public transport (and indoors in crowded places)
3. Watch your distance – keep 2m apart, if you can, and at least 1m apart, if there’s not room for 2m
Also, remember that coronavirus can infect anyone and some people don’t have any symptoms. So, to protect vulnerable members of your family and community, you need to keep yourself safe from the virus by following these steps:
If you have symptoms of coronavirus – cough, fever or loss of taste or smell – isolate yourself for seven days at home and book a test. If your test result is positive, you will be contacted by a Contact Tracer from NHS Test & Trace. It’s important to talk to them and let them know who you’ve been in contact with, so that they can give them advice. If you’re phoned by NHS Test & Trace and told that you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus, they will advise you to isolate yourself for 14 days and book a test if you develop any symptoms. It’s important to follow this advice, to break the chain of infection.
If we all practice the three Ws and engage with NHS Test &Trace, hopefully, we can keep the virus at bay in Hackney, London and beyond.
Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health