Tomorrow, 4th July, a range of government guidance changes. However, while there are significant changes, not everything is changing.
Read on for our full statement, which includes links to new and continuing guidance:
ON THE 4TH JULY, A RANGE OF GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE CHANGES:
- Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen, “providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines”.
- Two households “will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures”
- People will be able to holiday in England as accommodation sites reopen
- “Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.”
- “Where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.” Mitigations include masks and other PPE (these points are taken from the announcement of new guidance)
- People are being asked to provide “their names and phone numbers to the venues and businesses they visit from this Saturday” to assist NHS Track and Trace.
- Detailed “Restart Guidance” is available on The British Chambers of Commerce website. Locally, the Stroud Chamber of Commerce has a “Welcome back to Stroud toolkit” and other resources on their website (for example).
HOWEVER, WHILE THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES, NOT EVERYTHING IS CHANGING.
- “The Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control.”
- “The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control” (these points are also taken from the announcement of new guidance)
- A good many of us are still shielding or staying home, and can’t yet take advantage of the changes.
- If you show Covid-19 symptoms it’s important you stay at home & follow the guidance (symptoms are: a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, loss/change in your normal sense of taste or smell). There is a local test centre for people with symptoms – learn more about testing via the NHS website.
- The government now require face coverings to be worn by all who can wear them on public transport. They also say “Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces such as shops can help stop the spread of coronavirus. Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting on your face covering and after taking it off.”
Government guidance is influenced by scientific advice, but there is debate about the timing of reopening and whether mitigation and Track and Trace measures are sufficient among scientists – such as the Independent SAGE group. We will continue to share Government guidance for information, and authoritative scientific comment which people may also want to take into account when deciding whether to engage in certain activities.
WE WANT TO CELEBRATE THE WAY OUR COMMUNITY HAS RESPONDED TO THIS PANDEMIC.
This is an enormously challenging time but the vast majority of people are thinking of others and doing what they can with the information they have available to protect each other. A huge number of people have been involved in local mutual aid, community response groups, and neighbour networks (find your local group via our website)
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR STORIES OF HOW PEOPLE BUSINESS AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS ARE ADAPTING.
We invite members of our Facebook group to share what their local businesses and other organisations are doing to help protect us, particularly those of us most at risk from the virus. If you’re not on Facebook, please email us via: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE RECOGNISE THAT MOMENTS OF CHANGE IN LOCKDOWN MEASURES CAN BE STRESSFUL AND BRING OUT DIFFERENCES OF OPINION WITHIN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY.
We wish to facilitate healthy debate – we encourage people to share their thoughts, ask questions, and help each other to identify useful information. Please follow our guidelines to help make our Facebook group a welcoming, friendly, and respectful space.