People in Nottingham are being urged to continue to follow the guidance on ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ after Step Four is reached on the roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions.
The Government confirmed this week that restrictions will be lifted on 19 July when there will be no limits on mixing indoors with people from other households. People will no longer have to wear face coverings or maintain social distance as the country opens up for business as usual in pubs, restaurants, indoor events and other activities.
The move to Step Four comes at a time when cases of Covid-19 are increasing in Nottingham, as well as across the country as a whole.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, is writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, urging him to consider making face coverings mandatory as a way to prevent further rates of infection.
In Nottingham people will be expected to continue wearing face coverings when in busy public places especially when indoors such as shops and public transport and when coming into council buildings from 19 July.
Cllr Mellen said: “I welcome the move to Step Four of the roadmap where we can begin to return to something approaching a ‘normal life’ again.
“However, I am deeply concerned that we are throwing away all protection against the virus. Rates of Covid-19 continue to rise in our city. More people are also being admitted to hospital. The vaccine offers greater protection from the virus, but many people in Nottingham still remain unvaccinated.
“I would like to offer a word of caution: let’s continue to be careful. Just because restrictions are lifted, it does not mean that we are free from the threat of this virus.
“I would strongly encourage people to wear a face covering when they are on public transport, in shared indoor spaces or are outside and unable to maintain social distance from other people. Wearing a face covering can also make others feel more confident and comfortable – especially those who are more clinically vulnerable. In Nottingham I am asking people to continue wearing face masks because we care about each other as well as ourselves.
“I will continue to wear my own face covering to help protect others. I would urge everyone to do the same.”
People are being asked to:
- Continue to wear a face covering to protect others
- Keep washing your hands
- Maintain space where you can
- Meet others outdoors where possible.
Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health in Nottingham, said: “We have all lived with restrictions for the last 18 months and it is natural that people are keen to get back to normal.
“However, when we look at the number of cases of Covid-19 in our city, it is clear that we must continue to take steps to protect each other from the virus. Let’s not undo all of the good work we have done together during the pandemic.
“We are asking people to continue to be careful in the choices they make; whether you decide to meet outdoors rather than indoors; whether you wear a mask on public transport or in an indoor shared space.
“This is not simply about our physical health but also about the mental wellbeing of many people who will feel incredibly anxious about returning to a life without any restrictions after abiding by the rules for so long – especially those who are clinically vulnerable and those who have been shielding.
“As well as ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ please also continue to take regular tests for Covid-19, even when you don’t have symptoms. Please also take steps to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as possible.”
More information about Step Four can be found here.
More information about vaccinations and testing can be found here.