As lockdown eases due to the continuing fall in coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates, local organisations in Lancashire and South Cumbria are reminding residents of the best ways to stay safe, reduce the risk of spreading the virus and save lives.
From 4 July, the new government guidelines will allow more businesses to open, two households to meet indoors, and overnight stays.
Dr Peter Gregory, local GP and chair at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “Over recent months we have seen the people of West Lancashire really come together as we look to support each other and ensure that we all play our part in defeating this virus.
“I know that there may well be a temptation to let our guard down and start to relax now that we are starting to see some sort of normality return to our lives. However, we are not there yet and the virus is very much still with us.
“I would urge all residents to continue to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering when out in public and ensuring that we keep up with good hand hygiene.”
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) said: “We know the impact that lockdown has had on people’s wellbeing, and that many people are making plans to go out and about this weekend. Please remember that anyone can get coronavirus, and anyone can spread it.
“In recent months, the public have shown their support for the NHS. This has been really appreciated, and we continue to ask for your understanding and help to keep patients and staff safe.”
Andy Curran, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Medical Director for the Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS said: “Regular handwashing, remaining two metres apart from others where possible and wearing face coverings if you need to use public transport remain the most important ways for you to protect yourself, your family, the NHS and your community.”
Andy said: “Please remember that if you or anyone in your household have any symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell – then you should self-isolate at home and call 119 to arrange a test. You must also self-isolate if you have been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.”
Clinically vulnerable people are now permitted to meet people outdoors and from 4 July indoors, but as they are at a greater risk of being seriously ill if they contract COVID-19, they need to be especially careful about social distancing and hand hygiene.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) useful links:
- West Lancs CCG dedicated COVID-19 webpage
- Gov.uk: Staying safe outside your home
- Gov.uk: Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July
- NHS: Advice for everyone
- NHS: Advice for people at higher risk