As Bristol takes its next step to easing lockdown restrictions – city leaders have shared a message of caution.
From today (Monday 29 March):
- People can meet outdoors in a group of either six people (Rule of Six) or as two households.
- The above groups can also now meet up in private gardens.
- Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen.
- Formally organised outdoors sports will be able to take place.
- People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise journeys where possible.
Director for Public Health Christina Gray said: “This next cautious step in getting back to what we love has only been made possible thanks to everyone’s efforts to follow the guidance and protect one another.
“Evidence has shown that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors, and taking this unlocking one step at a time, slowly and cautiously, is our best chance for making this the last time we go through this process.”
Ms Gray said countries in Europe were currently seeing “high rates of infection along with new variants of concern” and were having to slow the pace of easing restrictions.
She added: “This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still circulating and is still dangerous. We are at a point where we can begin to get out of doors and to resume some normal activities, however the situation is fragile and we must proceed with caution.”
“We must take this unlocking one step at a time…”
CEO of Brunelcare, Oona Goldsworthy, said: “I can’t emphasise just how important it has been for care home residents and staff for loved ones to be able to visit regularly…
“I want to thank everyone who continues to do the most they can to bring us safely out of national COVID-19 restrictions. For our most vulnerable, their loved ones and our communities we must keep going so this lifeline isn’t once again taken away. We must take this unlocking one step at a time and not get ahead of ourselves too quickly.”
The city’s Local Engagement Board member and a respiratory consultant at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), Dr Huzaifa Adamali, said although hospitals in Bristol were starting to see less patients coming in with severe illness – now was “not the time to become complacent”.
He said: “This next step in our journey to recovery will open up a lot of freedoms for many that will help with their mental and emotional health; allowing families, friends and loved ones more opportunities to meet safely outdoors.
“However, we must proceed with caution. We must not throw away all the hard work we’ve put in to reduce transmission, protect the NHS and save lives. This means remembering those really important principles; Hands, Face, Space, Isolate.”
For further guidance on COVID-19, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk
For information about regular rapid testing, visit https://www.bristol.gov.uk/coronavirus/guide-to-rapid-testing
For business support, visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-support-advice/covid-19-information-for-businesses
We Are Bristol helpline offers support for anyone who needs emergency assistance getting food, medicines or guidance about financial support to self-isolate. Call 0800 694 0184 for free if you need help.