The Leader of Staffordshire County Council has this evening given a cautious welcome to news that Step 4 of the Government Roadmap will go-ahead and most legal curbs will officially end from Monday, July 19.
While Alan White said it was great news that lockdown restrictions were now largely being lifted, residents and businesses must still take personal responsibility to take steps to reduce the risk to themselves, their friends and family and customers and colleagues.
With restrictions being eased, everyone in Staffordshire aged 18 or over is being urged to have both doses of the vaccine as soon as they can, as this is the best way to protect themselves and vulnerable people, including children, who have not had the vaccine.
“In Staffordshire, we have seen cases rise above the national rate and in Tamworth they are around three times the England rate, so we know the easing of restrictions comes hand in hand with an increasing risk of both catching the virus and passing it on to others.
“While it is great news that we can all enjoy more of the freedoms we have worked so hard to win back, Covid has not gone away and we need to take personal responsibility for the things we do, including wearing a face covering on public transport or in crowded places and gradually moving back to the office.
“We know that cases will rise, there will be more hospital admissions and sadly more deaths, but we need to keep these as low as possible and continuing to take personal responsibility as well as getting vaccinated as soon as possible is the best way to do this.”
In a press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the lifting of restrictions will go ahead on Monday. The PM and his Covid advisers warned too that cases, hospital admissions and deaths will rise, but not at the rates seen at the height of the pandemic.
Key changes from Monday include:
- No limits on how many people can meet
- 1m-plus rule removed
- Face coverings no longer required by law, but recommended on public transport and in crowded places
- Nightclubs can open
- Pubs and restaurants no longer table service only
- No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
Full details can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
People can book a vaccine at the national site. Information about walk-ins in Staffordshire can be found here This is updated regularly.