Vaccinations are going well, the number of Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions are reducing, and day by day we are all feeling a little more excited that the end (or at least 12 April) is in sight.
However, we have seen cases start to rise again across East Sussex. Most people are following the guidance – we are still in lockdown after all – but we all need to continue being cautious, vaccination received or not.
With Easter just around the corner, warmer days ahead, and the 12 April approaching (have you booked your haircut yet?), it’s all too tempting to loosen the rules a little bit further, even if you think it won’t matter. Things already start to change on 29 March, so let’s enjoy the fact that we can see more people, but let’s not mess this up and cause a delay to the next phase ahead.
Currently, England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, and follow the rules in this guidance.
But I’ve had my vaccine, do the rules still apply to me?
The Covid-19 vaccine that you have had has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from the disease. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. We don’t yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So, it is still important to follow the guidance to protect those around you.
You still need to:
- practise social distancing
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- follow the current guidance
Scientists have warned those that have been vaccinated should not hug their relatives or anyone outside of their household even after receiving the vaccine.
Did you know, you can get a test even if you don’t have symptoms?
Anyone without symptoms who needs to leave home for work, to volunteer or provide care and who aren’t already covered by another testing programme and all households with nursery, primary, secondary and college age children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles are encouraged to have a symptom-free test twice a week.
One in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms and can spread infection without knowing. Regularly testing people who aren’t showing any signs of Covid-19 is an important step to keep infection rates low so that life can return to as close to normal as possible.
Find out how at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/covidtests
People with Covid-19 symptoms should continue to book a test at one of the local testing sites or order one online.
Here’s what we can do from 12 April
(if we stick to the current rules in the meantime!) –
- Non-essential retail can re-open, including shopping centres, hairdressers, barbers and other close contact services.
- We can finally get back to the gym, swimming pools and spas as they re-open for individuals and households.
- A weekend away with the family? Go for it – UK domestic holidays away from home in self-contained accommodation is allowed if you’re only with members of your own household.
- More entertainment and weekend activities are afoot as zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas, as well as beer gardens and alcohol takeaways re-open.
- Community centres and libraries can also re-open and we know for sure the East Sussex librarians will be eagerly awaiting to welcome residents back into our libraries.
Please continue to wear a face covering when you’re supposed to (exemptions apply), keep your distance and don’t bend the rules.
And so that we don’t get too ahead of ourselves, here’s a reminder of the four stages of easing lockdown.