We all still have a part to play in protecting ourselves and each other from COVID-19.
Infection rates have fallen and are now stable in Calderdale and are still too high. We need to keep up the great work together.
The COVID-19 vaccine and the cautiously optimistic roadmap out of lockdown give us hope for the future. However, we must all still keep doing the three big things that we know help to keep us safe – limit social contact, wear a face covering unless medically exempt, and self-isolate if we test positive or are a contact of someone who has tested positive.
From today (Monday 29 March), some limited changes to the national lockdown have come into place across England, as part of Step 1 of the Government’s roadmap.
The ‘stay at home’ rule has been lifted, but we should keep working from home if we can, and continue to minimise travel where possible. We should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage.
People can now meet up in limited numbers outdoors, where we are less likely to catch the virus or pass it on. We must not mix with other households indoors, but we can gather with either two households or up to a maximum of six people outside, including in private gardens.
Deborah Harkins, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“It’s really positive that we can now reunite with our loved ones in the great Calderdale outdoors and enjoy the better weather together after many months of missing each other.
“The easing of some restrictions brings us great hope for brighter days ahead, but we still all have a part to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19, which is still in our local communities at a rate that remains high. All of the local cases are now the Kent new variant, which spreads more easily, and because of this, many lockdown restrictions remain in place and it’s important that we keep following the rules.
“We should do everything we can to stay safe when meeting each other – staying out in the open air, keeping two metres apart at all times, washing our hands and minimising the amount of social gatherings and the number of people we meet wherever possible.
“Although more and more people are being vaccinated, it’s still vital to follow the public health advice that has become so familiar to us all, and to keep doing the three big things – limit contact with other people, wear a face covering and self-isolate if necessary. This is especially important to protect those who haven’t yet had their vaccine.”
The risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower outdoors than inside, but the risk of infection via larger droplets in the air remains high if people have prolonged, face-to-face, close contact with others. This is why social distancing is still important. Outdoor surfaces may still become contaminated with the virus, which is why we should maintain regular hand washing.
Nationally, the careful reopening of outdoor sports and leisure facilities is now possible under Government guidelines, increasing the options for outdoor exercise and recreation. Calderdale Council is keeping its services under review in line with this and will only reopen facilities when it is safe to do so. Keep an eye on the Council’s website for updates.
Partnership work continues across Calderdale to help control COVID-19, such as engaging with and supporting communities, particularly in areas with high infection rates; increasing and improving access to testing; ensuring that those most at risk from COVID-19 are offered a vaccine; carrying out local contact tracing; supporting people to enable them to self-isolate; engaging with businesses and helping them to be COVID-secure; and enforcing COVID-19 restrictions where necessary.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:
More information about the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown can be found at