Do you know the COVID rules from Monday?


Local infection rates are low, but the virus hasn’t gone

Are you up-to-speed with the new rules that will apply to our lives from next Monday?   We’re being urged to familiarise ourselves with the step three national COVID-19 roadmap instructions that will apply from May 17.

The latest easing of lockdown restrictions comes as COVID infection rates locally remain low, but still not at zero.   Up to the end of last week (May 7) there were 12 new infections during a seven day period in the Banbury FM area.

The current rate per 100,000 people in Oxfordshire is 17.1.   It’s 18.6 in the Cherwell District.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, is urging people to familiarise themselves with the new rules.   Mr Azhar said: “With so many changes having taken place this spring, it would be understandable if people had a good knowledge of how the bulk of national rules stand, but not necessarily all of them. I would urge people to take a few moments to brush up on exactly how things stand from 17 May.

“The good news is that cases in Oxfordshire remain at low levels as the vaccination programme is rolled out. At the same time, the virus has not completely disappeared and there are still large parts of the population who have not yet been vaccinated.

“The national roadmap was drawn up with a gradual and cautious easing of restrictions in mind. When combined with the vaccination programme and twice-weekly symptom-free rapid testing, it was seen as a careful way of reducing COVID-19’s habit of being the comeback kid – as we saw in September and October 2020 and in January 2021.

“There are good reasons for welcoming these step three changes while at the same time reminding everyone that 17 May is not finale day. COVID still presents a real risk, particularly with the emergence of new variants, so we need to do everything we can to control the virus.

“We would therefore ask people to please continue to wear face coverings, keep a distance and wash your hands – the simple things that help so much. These measures apply to everyone regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated. Regular testing also remains crucial to stop the spread of the virus.

“We would also urge people to abide by the new national rules, which come into effect on 17 May, while enjoying the gradual return of the individual freedoms that we all know and love. The various stages of the roadmap were carefully thought through at the outset and they have won us the progress we have seen during 2021. Abiding by the rules means we can win even more territory in the battle with the formidable opponent that COVID undoubtedly is, consolidating our position and building a very solid platform looking to the second half of the year.”

You can see the new rules that will apply from next Monday on our COVID Dashboard.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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