NO HUGGING THIS EASTER: Health leader urges caution
Public Health England West Midlands Health Protection Lead is urging the local community to stick to the new road map rules to ensure the region is not hit by a surge of Covid cases.
Katie Spence, Deputy Director with PHE West Midlands, said: ‘West Midlands used to be the region with the highest case rates in the UK. Thanks to the community working hard we are doing much better. But I am concerned that with the freedoms given to us this week, especially with socialising over the Easter bank holiday, rates could go up again. We need people to stick to the rules, otherwise the roadmap is at risk. Most people respect the rules and think about the health and safety of their loved ones and I thank you all for that.
‘Up to six people or two households can now meet outdoors. Let’s all hope that we have some good weather this Easter. We all know that outdoor is safer. It will be lovely for people to see friends and family again, but we do still need to be cautious because we haven’t got a fully vaccinated population yet. Some people who’ve had both doses will still transmit the virus, even if protected from serious illness. The most important thing to do when you are outdoors is to keep the two-metre social distancing, and if you do have symptoms - however mild - do not meet up with your friends or family and go and have a test.’
Katie also revealed that analysis carried out by Public Health England suggests that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in those aged 70 and older in England up to the end of February.
She said: ‘This is great news and just shows how important it is to get your vaccine when offered to protect yourself and your loved ones. And don’t forget it is just as important to go along for your second vaccine when invited. The vaccines have an excellent safety record. While the vaccines have a striking impact on mortality, we don’t yet know how much these vaccines will reduce the risk of you passing COVID-19 onto others.
‘So the message to everyone is that you don’t have to stay home any more but you do have to remember Hands – Face – Space – Fresh Air.’
Watch the channel on TV