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Enjoy the latest easing of restrictions but remain cautious

by Guy Murphy

Step 3 on the roadmap to recovery has seen the biggest easing of restrictions to date with close contact, indoor hospitality and live events all returning. Although this is great news, it is also important to remember that the virus is still in circulation.

Coronavirus thrives on social contact and with more social interaction being permitted, there is a greater risk of transmission.  It is therefore important that we all remain cautious and take steps to enjoy the latest freedoms safely and ensure we continue to move along the roadmap.

There are still a number of restrictions in place to ensure the rate of infection does not grow too quickly and Knowsley residents are urged to continue to follow them. We have shown that when we follow the rules, our cases remain low and that is something we all want.

You can learn more about the latest easing of restrictions here.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health for Knowsley, said: “Step 3 on the roadmap has been eagerly anticipated by everyone and it is great to see people meeting up and more local businesses reopening. However, it is important we do not become complacent.

The rate of infection in Knowsley has remained low thanks to the hard work of our residents, who are engaging with the vaccination programme and following the rules. By doing so, they are playing a vital role in our recovery.

I would urge all residents to continue their great work and ensure that they enjoy Step 3 safely.”

The Government’s 4 step roadmap is all about the gradual easing of restrictions and we can only progress through the roadmap when it is safe to do so. Progression is dependent on the successful COVID vaccination programme continuing to be rolled out, number of COVID cases in our community, the impact on hospital admissions and if any variants of concern have been identified.

There are three ways you can play a vital role in helping England move down the roadmap:

Get vaccinated when it’s your turn

Vaccination of residents is according to a priority list, as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), based on age and vulnerability of people and the risk of them becoming seriously ill and dying from Covid-19.

The current criteria is:

  • you’re aged 38 or over
  • you’ll turn 38 before 1 July 2021
  • you’re at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you’re aged 16+ have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you’re a frontline health or social care worker
  • you get a Carer’s Allowance, get support following an assessment by your local authority or your GP record shows you’re a carer
  • you’re an unpaid carer. You will need to fill out a self-assessment form on the national booking portal or contact your local GP.

The vaccination offers you the best protection from the virus so if you are in one of the groups above, make your appointment today by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or ring 119.

Find out more on vaccination here.

Got symptoms? Isolate!

Remember if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, new / persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell), stay at home, along with your household, and book yourself a test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or ring 119. If you test positive, you, your household and people in your support bubble and close contacts need to self-isolate for 10 days to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Let’s get tested

Residents are also encouraged to take part in twice weekly testing using Lateral Flow Tests and continue with COVID safe behaviours such as regular hand washing, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.

If you test positive from a Lateral Flow Test, you MUST book a confirmatory PCR test. Find out more here.

Visit Knowsley News to find out where you can collect test kits from.