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Health update: Leaving lockdown, safely.

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

This week we passed the first milestone in the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.

Now, six people, or a larger group if just two households are present, can meet outside including in private gardens. This change will allow many of us to reconnect with our loved ones and safely begin to catch up with friends after a long time apart.

In late Spring last year, as restrictions began to ease following the first UK lockdown, I wrote in one of my messages to you that:

“Coronavirus isn’t going away overnight, nor will it be gone in a few days or weeks…

“…In order to protect our most vulnerable, we must stand together and continue to exercise caution wherever we can.”

While a lot has changed since the first lockdown, and we know a lot more about the virus, that advice holds true.

As the rules around meeting with friends and family change, we should think about why they are changing in this way. Evidence shows you are much less likely to pass on or catch coronavirus in the open air, particularly if you are also adhering to social distancing, and limiting the number of people you meet.

If you are planning on a family reunion or a get-together this weekend, please keep it to the garden or other outdoor space and – where possible – keep it local.

These steps will help to avoid spreading the virus around different households and even different parts of the UK.

Many have asked me, “why do we need to be careful if the number of people with the virus is low at the moment?”

As you know, we’ve been here before. While our numbers are low this can change – and it can change fast. This lockdown is slightly different to the others though. As of 29 March, more than 168,000 people in Wirral had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination already. Of course, being vaccinated doesn’t mean the restrictions no longer apply to you and we all need to stay committed to Hands, Face, Space.

We are making great progress so, let’s double down and remember, this is a marathon not a sprint.

Thanks for reading. I’m wishing you all a restful Easter Bank Holiday and, please, stick to the guidance and help Keep Wirral Well.

Julie.