Calderdale people are encouraged to remain cautious, be kind and help each other to stay safe when national COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed from Monday 19 July.
Restrictions are ending but COVID-19 isn’t. Cases are increasing in Calderdale and across the country. The risk of COVID-19 will still be with us from 19 July and for some time.
Step 4 of the national roadmap means the return to many of the things we enjoy, but it doesn’t mark the end of our joint responsibility to take care and be considerate.
As COVID restrictions are lifted, we can keep showing kindness and looking out for each other by continuing to take precautions in certain situations and following the five big things:
- Give others space
- Wear a mask in high risk places
- Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms
- Mix outside / let air in
- Get both doses of the vaccine
This will help to protect vulnerable people and support those who look after us and keep us going by delivering important services, from health and care to public transport and shops.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“National restrictions are ending but COVID-19 isn’t. Our local case rates remain high, and are unfortunately expected to increase as restrictions ease.
“Throughout the pandemic, Calderdale’s kindness has been stronger than ever, and our togetherness has got us through some really tough times. We know that many people will be excited about the lifting of restrictions, and others will be concerned and anxious, especially those with health conditions that mean they can’t have the vaccine or it won’t work as well for them. It’s important to remember not everyone feels the same way about the ending of the restrictions as we do, and that we respect different views and are considerate to others.
“We can protect our whole community by continuing to wear face coverings, social distancing, getting tested and isolating when we have symptoms. Through these acts of kindness, we’re also making sure that the businesses and services we need and enjoy can remain open by reducing the spread of the virus. Local organisations have worked so hard to stay safe and keep going, and we will support them to continue some of the public health measures they have introduced to help protect people.”
Deborah Harkins, the Council’s Director of Public Health, added:
“Step 4 of the roadmap will see many of the Government’s legal restrictions removed, but this is not a return to the pre-COVID ‘normal’. Case rates are still too high, and are likely to increase more over the next few weeks, putting pressure on local health services. That’s why it’s so important that we maintain the community spirit that Calderdale is known for, and continue to act carefully. We’re all so used to doing the five big things now, so let’s keep up the great work while we continue to manage the virus. It won’t be the law but we can still wear masks in places where there may be vulnerable people and keep our distance from others out of kindness to others.
“Getting both doses of the vaccine reduces the risk of us getting seriously ill from COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant, and means we are less likely to pass it on to others.
“As an employer, we have a duty of care to our staff and their wellbeing. By protecting them and our residents, we can continue to deliver essential services which people rely on. So, whilst we’re relaxing some restrictions in our services, we’re also keeping some of the public health measures that help to protect people, provide a better service and have been welcomed, such as pre-booked slots. We’ll be strongly encouraging our staff and service users to keep wearing masks and social distancing after 19 July – this supports the reopening of our economy, and helps keep people safe and services running.”
For details of what Step 4 will mean in England from 19 July, please visit Moving to step 4 of the roadmap – guidance(external link).
The Council will operate within Government guidance but will remain mindful of, and adaptable to, the local situation in Calderdale. Some of the positive changes that have come out of the pandemic will remain, such as the move towards more digital services to increase efficiency, reduce costs and address the climate emergency.
Details of support for clinically extremely vulnerable people can be found on the Council’s website at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus/help/support-vulnerable
As of Monday 19 July, key Council services will operate as follows, with continued protective measures such as mask wearing, social distancing and ventilation in indoor spaces where possible:
- Schools – The Council will support Calderdale schools to continue with key public health measures such as bubbles, contact tracing and isolating contacts for the final week of term after 19 July, if schools wish to do so.
- Register Office – Pre-COVID capacities will be reinstated and services such as readings and music will be reintroduced.
- Bereavement services – All mourners will be seated in the chapel at Park Wood Crematorium, where the maximum number of people will be increased to 56. Attendees will be encouraged to wear face coverings, and measures such as ventilation, hand sanitiser, one-way systems and cleaning between services will remain in place.
- Household Waste Recycling Centres – All bays will re-open.
- Sports and leisure services – The number of people who can access sessions at Council-run leisure centres will be gradually and safely increased, and changing rooms, lockers and showers will start to be made available again. Child and adult swimming lessons will be reintroduced. In response to customer feedback, many of the bookable sessions will be maintained and centres will remain cashless. Social distancing will no longer be required in the stands at The Shay Stadium.
- Libraries – Most library services will return to normal within Government guidelines. All computer access will resume but reduced opening hours will remain in place for the time being. Rastrick Library and Northowram Library have reopened. The reopening arrangements for Akroyd Library are currently being considered. Beechwood Road Library and the new Mixenden Hub will reopen when works are completed. Some community libraries are the subject of requests for community asset transfer and will remain closed while those applications are progressed.
- Museums – In response to customer feedback, the online booking system will remain at Shibden Hall, but capacity will be increased to allow more visitors. Pre-booking will no longer be required at Bankfield Museum.
- Victoria Theatre – The Victoria Theatre will return to normal full-scale operations. All performances will resume and take place in auditoria which do not require social distancing. All performances will be bookable online with customers able to select their seats from a full seating plan. Key features introduced in recent months will be retained, such as e-tickets; barriers at points of sale and sanitisation stations will be maintained and social distancing will be encouraged where possible.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: