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Coronavirus update

Roadmap out of lockdown – Step 4
On Monday 19th July, England moved to Step 4 of the Roadmap with the Prime Minister setting out a five-point plan for living with Covid as restrictions are eased:

  • Reinforce vaccine defences by reducing the dosing interval from 12 to 8 weeks for all adults.
  • The majority of legal restrictions have been lifted and replaced with guidance to enable people to make their own informed decisions to manage the virus, emphasising caution and personal responsibility as cases continue to rise.
  • The test, trace and isolate system will remain, with all positive cases legally required to self-isolate. Contacts of positive cases are required to self-isolate until the 16 August, after which adults who have received two vaccine doses and all under 18s will be exempt.
  • Border controls will be maintained, including quarantine for all those travelling from a red list country, and for amber list countries unless double vaccinated.
  • Data will be continually assessed and contingency measures retained if needed during higher risk periods, but restrictions will be avoided if possible.

Here once again is a summary of the main aspects of Step 4 from 19th July: –

  • Face coverings will no longer be legally required but government guidance suggests people will be expected and recommended to wear them in enclosed and crowded indoor settings and venues where they come into contact with those they don’t normally meet, such as on public transport. Face coverings are likely to be a condition of carriage on many airlines and other transport systems, mandatory in hospitals, surgeries and certain other healthcare settings and most supermarkets are encouraging customers to continue wearing them
  • The 1m plus social distancing rules will no longer apply (other than in hospitals and at border control – and for people who are self-isolating) but people are encouraged to “exercise common sense and consider the risks” of social contact
  • Limits on the number of people meeting indoors (the rule of six/two households) will end although the government is asking the public to continue to limit the number, proximity and duration of social contacts, to think about how ventilation can be improved when indoors and to consider meeting others outdoors where possible
  • Limits on the number of people meeting outdoors (currently 30) will end
  • Ordering drinks from a bar in pubs and restaurants will be permitted and the legal requirement for table service lifted – but still encouraged
  • Government guidance on working from home where possible will end but businesses are being asked to stagger returns to the office throughout the summer to facilitate a gradual transition back to pre-pandemic practices
  • The limit on named visitors to care homes will end
  • Singing hymns in church and dancing at weddings and receptions will be permitted
  • Theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, festivals and other event venues can operate at full capacity
  • Nightclubs can re-open but, along with other venues with large crowds, will be “encouraged” (but likely to be legally required from September) to use Covid status certification proving attendees had received two jabs or tested negative
  • School “bubbles” will end
  • It will no longer be a legal requirement to scan the NHS Covid app or provide contact details when visiting pubs, restaurants and other venues – but it is still advisable and venues are encouraged to request visitors to do so

Vaccination update
It was announced on Tuesday 20th July that all 17-year-olds within three months of their 18th birthday will be offered a Covid vaccine to make sure they are protected as soon as they turn 18.

Younger children aged 12 to 17 with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of Covid-19, those with certain disabilities and those living in homes with immunosuppressed relatives would also be offered a vaccine soon.

International travel
From Monday 19th July, the government no longer recommend against travel to amber list countries and people arriving from these destinations (except for France) who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS vaccine will not need to quarantine on arrival in England – a pre-departure test before arrival in England and a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival will be required. The rules on international travel both on leaving and returning to England are complex and subject to change at very short notice – as are the rules in the country you may be visiting – so If you are contemplating travelling abroad you may care to refer to the latest government guidance which can be found here.

NHS Test and Trace
For an overview of the NHS Test and Trace system, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, the latest government guidance can be found here.

Stay well and keep safe and if you require help with shopping or prescriptions, please contact: –
Fr. Peter Mallinson (Bury) 839057 or Ken & Diana Rowsell (West Burton) 831475