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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 01/04

Posted on 6th April, 2021 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/latest-coronavirus-updates/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

Enjoy Easter but please stay vigilant

As we approach the Easter weekend, it is important that people continue to follow guidance to keep coronavirus at bay.

Lou Woolway, Deputy Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council said: “It’s great lockdown restrictions are easing and we’re able to enjoy new freedoms such as meeting up outdoors with another household or a rule of six.

“It’s vital we continue to remain two metres apart from anyone who is not an immediate member of our household or support bubble when socialising outside. We all need to remain vigilant, careful and abide by social distancing rules.

“Covid is still here in communities and we don’t want cases to rise, which could affect the roadmap. Enjoy these new freedoms but enjoy them safely. If we all follow this guidance now, all play our part, we will stay on target for further restrictions to be lifted.

“Remember – stay local, minimise travel and behave responsibly and continue to follow ‘hands, face, space’ with the new message of ‘fresh air’ to minimise catching Coronavirus and spreading it to others – even if you are vaccinated.”

As a reminder, the ‘stay at home’ rule has now ended and outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people or two households are now allowed, meaning friends and families can meet outside.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools are now also able to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

Many restrictions, however, remain in place and people are still being advised to continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible.

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Stay local now – and plan ahead for holidays

The South West is getting ready to welcome tourists and visitors for a well-earned holiday once it is safe and legal to do so and restrictions are lifted. While the ‘stay at home’ order has been removed from 29 March, this does not permit holidays. The advice is to stay ‘local’ and to continue to minimise traveling where possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, the SW tourism industry is cautioning would-be visitors to think again, given the lack of facilities that are open. Only essential food shops and takeaways are available. Pubs, restaurants, and many other businesses that are part and parcel of having a great time away are closed under the lockdown restrictions. Instead, the industry asks people to plan ahead, book now and visit later.

Clinton’s Covid catch-up

In this week’s Somerset Covid Catch-up, former BBC correspondent Clinton Rogers speaks to medical professionals about the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine, especially having the second dose.

Somerset’s Director for Public Health gets her first dose of the vaccine and Clinton talks to a local pharmacist around the importance of all communities stepping forward when it’s their turn for the jab.

View this week’s video here: Somerset Covid Catch up week 17 01 April 2021 – YouTube

Shielding comes to an end

From today, clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are no longer being advised to shield.

Earlier this month, letters were sent to people on the shielded patient list with updated guidance. The letters set out the practical steps people can follow to reduce their risk of catching the virus, including continuing to maintain strict social distancing and keeping their overall social contacts at low levels, such as through working from home where possible.

People should continue to follow the national rules and take the additional precautions set out in the guidance to keep themselves as protected as possible.

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Free tests for seasonal farm workers

Seasonal agricultural workers can receive free Covid-19 tests on farms. Employers must register for the programme by 12 April to receive a supply of free test kits until the end of June.

Full information can be found here: Seasonal workers to receive free Covid-19 tests on farms – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)