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We must continue protecting each other

13 July 2021

“The Government’s announcement about the proposed easing of the mandatory COVID-19 restrictions from 19 July makes it more important than ever that we take personal responsibility for protecting ourselves and those around us”, says Cllr Gareth Roberts – Leader of Richmond Council.

Yesterday the Government announced that from the 19 July we won’t be legally required to socially distance, wear face coverings or to limit the number of people we meet. Venues that are currently closed will be able to open with no capacity restrictions.

However, Cllr Roberts warns residents, that with the rising rate of infections, the easing of restrictions does not mean it will be safe to stop taking the safety measures completely.

He said:

“The Government is asking people to act responsibility while easing the mandatory restrictions and says there is an ongoing need for caution. With the rapid rate at which the virus is currently spreading in Richmond upon Thames, we cannot afford to relax our efforts now.

“The steep increase we are seeing now is due to the ease and speed at which the highly infectious Delta variant is passed on and the fact that more people are meeting each other. The number of cases in Richmond upon Thames are rocketing. There are currently around 400 people in the borough who have COVID-19. And, we are hearing from our local hospital that there are patients with the virus being admitted.

“Whilst the hospital numbers remain low, it would be foolish to not continue to be careful. If not for ourselves, but for those around us.

“Similarly to all other businesses, we are currently reviewing the safety measures in our own services and are considering how we will continue to keep both our staff and residents safe, particularly whilst COVID rampages through the borough.

“Basic COVID safety can remain part of our daily lives without significantly disrupting how we live.  This means keeping up the routine of washing hands, wearing face coverings in busy indoor spaces, being careful about how close you get to people and making sure there is plenty of ventilation when indoors with others.

“Taking two free lateral flow tests a week when you don’t have symptoms is also a really effective way of ensuring you are not spreading the virus to others, including friends, family members and work colleagues.

“At the same time, I would urge all adults in the borough to have the vaccine. There are now many walk-in centres across the borough, offering both Pfizer and AstraZeneca. It is quick, easy and most of all safe.

“I totally understand that everyone is tired of the impact that COVID-19 is having on all of our lives. We can enjoy this summer, but we must be careful to do it safely. This means sticking to some simple measures and ensuring we all look out for ourselves and for each other.”

Tests are easy to access, either at local libraries, pharmacies or online. Find out more about walk-in vaccination sites.

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Up to: July 2021

Updated: 13 July 2021