Earlier this week the Prime Minister confirmed that Step 4 of the government's roadmap will proceed as planned. Reacting to the statement, Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon reiterated a message of caution. He said:
"Soon we will no longer be required by law to follow COVID-19 restrictions that include the wearing of face coverings and social distancing. Instead, it will be down to us all to be personally responsible for our behaviours and actions.
"I am pleased to hear clarification from our Prime Minister that the wearing of face coverings in crowded places – which would include public transport and any indoor space where there are other people – is still recommended, despite it no longer being a legal requirement.
"There’s no question about us sitting back and doing nothing. We need to take personal responsibility, remain cautious, and continue with the efforts we have made so far in helping to stop the spread.
"The legal restrictions are lifting, but our responsibility as members of our family, friends and society has not changed. Please choose to do the right thing for yourselves and others to help keep everyone safe."
The government has confirmed that the majority of legal COVID-19 restrictions will end next week and guidance will emphasise personal judgement and responsibility. People will be expected to consider and manage their own risk and protect themselves and others through informed choice and by exercising common sense.
Coronavirus will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it, but while cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. Remember, there is a risk that you could catch or pass on the virus, even if you are fully vaccinated.
While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months: