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Slapton Parish

Slapton, Devon

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Message from Director of Public Health Devon guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when restrictions end on Monday 19 July

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."

How to stay 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:

  • if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. If you test positive you must self-isolate for 10 full days - this is the law
  • around one in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms so could be spreading it unknowingly. Free rapid lateral flow device (LFD) testing twice a week increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when a person is infectious - helping to make sure you don’t spread it
  • it is recommended that face coverings continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, such as on public transport, when mixing with people you don’t normally meet
  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. Regular hand washing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19
  • while the government is no longer instructing people to work from home, a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance
  • you must self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, for example if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This remains the law, regardless of your vaccination status. However, from Monday 16 August there will be an isolation exemption for contacts of positive cases, for under 18 year olds and for double vaccinated adults, with advice to take a PCR test as soon as possible instead
  • all adults in England have now been offered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated
  • the more fresh air, the less likely you are to inhale infectious particles. Consider meeting outdoors or, if you’re indoors, think about how you can improve ventilation and let fresh air in

Please visit the government's website for more advice on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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