COVID-19 Updated guidelines

The Prime Minister has announced some changes to the current restrictions. These changes will come into effect as of Wednesday the 13th of May in England, rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland maybe different. The following changes have been made:

1. The first changes are in relation to the workplace. Firstly, people should continue to work from home if they can do so, this will mainly cover office workers, if you are unable to work from home then you should return to work and help restart the economy. This could include people in manufacturing, construction, logistics, distribution and scientific research. It is important we now try to restart sectors of the economy but remain cautious and alert by ensuring if members of the same household have symptoms, regardless of how mild, then everyone should self-isolate.

2. Secondly, schools will remain closed, vulnerable children and children of key workers should be attending school. Nannies and childminders are able to work and care for children once again so as to help enable families to return to work if the are unable to work from home.

3. As the number of people using public transport is expected to increase, the government will be working to increase transport back to normal services so as to ensure social distancing. People in South Derbyshire should if possible avoid public transport to reduce the risk of infection. This could include walking or cycling to work. We have recently announced £2 billion of funding to help make it safer and easier. Sticking to social distancing is essential and should still do so if using people transport.

4. To help reduce the risk of infection people should wear face-covering material, this maybe something homemade. I would urge people to avoid panic buying face masks and surgical masks as other such as healthcare workers need them.

5. The risk outside is considerably less than inside, the government will be updating rules to allow people outside to meet with no more than one person from another household. You MUST remain 2 meters apart and good hygiene is essential. People ay now exercise as much as they wish and may drive to open spaces irrespective of distance. However, please do NOT travel to other parts of the UK and it should be noted that rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ to those in England.

6. Protecting the vulnerable is a priority, therefore those at a higher risk such as those over 70, pregnant or with chronic illnesses should take great care but do not need to be shielded. Those at an extremely high risk should still remain at home and remain shielded.

For those that do not abide by these rules, who mix in groups will be issued fines which are now being increased. I would urge people to be sensible and remain cautious so as to avoid a second peak. We take each day as it comes and we must all do our part to keep one another safe and try to stop the spread of this disease. I would like to thank everyone who has abided by the rules so far and stayed at home, I hope the changes from Wednesday will provide a small amount of relief.