Need to be mindful of others during final step out of lockdown
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The PM has set out plans to lift legal restrictions on July 19. It’s the final step of our roadmap out of lockdown.
From Monday, social distancing and mask-wearing requirements in law end, large events restart, and restrictions on care home visits are lifted.
And in a much-needed boost to the beleaguered hospitality trade and East Devon’s fantastic restaurants, pubs and cafés, venues won’t be under effective capacity limits or required to enact table service. Nor indeed will they need to take your details at the door.
But let’s be clear: there’s two sides to the unlocking debate. You might be feeling excited, relieved or anxious. Personally, I feel the debate isn’t helped by labelling July 19 ‘Freedom Day’ in the press. I understand that for some, fear overtakes any sense of freedom. We will all have to be mindful of those around us who may want to continue to keep a distance and wear a mask in certain circumstances.
We know that we can’t eliminate Covid. As the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament recently, it’s about how we learn to live with the virus just as we do with flu.
It will be up to every individual to exercise their personal responsibility to look after themselves, loved ones and those around them. Getting a test and self-isolation if symptomatic is a big part of that.
Above all, the jabs are working. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that eight in ten UK adults have the Covid-19 antibodies that help the body fight the disease. Two-thirds of UK adults have now been double jabbed.
So that’s why on top of lifting lockdown shortly, in addition from August 16 those who have received a double vaccination but are a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case will no longer be required to self-isolate unless they themselves test positive.
The pandemic is not over and cases may continue to rise over the coming weeks, so as we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid and exercise judgement when going about our lives and considering the impact of our choices on those around us.