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“If you’re planning to meet up with friends and family next week, there are simple steps you can take to keep everyone safe.”
That’s the advice from Essex County Council’s (ECC) Director of Public Health, Dr Mike Gogarty, as he urges people to take action, remain cautious and plan ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend and half-term.
The advice also comes as ECC rolls out a new campaign – ‘Let’s Keep Covid in Check’ – to remind residents about the five actions and behaviours that should by now be an integral part of their daily routines.
Remembering good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering when required and maintaining social distancing wherever possible, are some of the small actions that everyone should be taking.
Residents who are not showing Covid-19 symptoms are also encouraged to take part in regular, rapid self-testing – like Lisa and Abdul – to keep those around them safe and to take up the Covid-19 vaccine when invited to.
Dr Gogarty added: “It is understandable that people will be excited to meet with friends and family next week. Whether inside or outside, continuing to follow Covid-19 guidance and taking a rapid test before meeting or hugging anyone will give you peace of mind that you are not unknowingly putting them at risk when you do.
“We are walking a fine line between balancing our hard-won freedoms and managing the inevitable spread of the virus as restrictions ease. We all have a responsibility to protect our loved ones and to keep Covid-19 in check.”
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We’ve all enjoyed being able to do more of the things we’ve missed over the past few months. Ahead of next week it is so important that we continue to take sensible precautions so that we do not compromise our new freedom.
“Now is not the time to be complacent; we will only be able to manage Covid-19 by everyone continuing to play their part, following the guidance, self-testing regularly and taking up the vaccine when invited to. By everyone following the rules, we can keep Covid-19 in check, together.”