Public Health officials urge Harlow residents to remain cautious

Health / Mon 19th Jul 2021 at 09:12am

REMAIN cautious and continue to take sensible steps to Keep Covid in Check, is the latest message from Essex County Council’s (ECC) Director for Public Health, Dr Mike Gogarty. 
The advice comes as today (Monday 19 July) marks the first day that all legal Covid-19 restrictions on social contact that have been in place for most of the pandemic, are removed. 
Instead, they are being replaced by recommended guidance from the Government. This is aimed at supporting people and businesses to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk as the country learns to live with the virus. This includes continuing to: 

  • meet in ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open
  • wear a face covering when seeing people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces
  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly
  • cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
  • stay at home if you are unwell to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses
  • consider individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status

Individuals who have not yet taken up the Covid-19 vaccine are also encouraged to do so and reminded to have both doses to ensure maximum protection. 
The vaccine has significantly reduced the number of hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19. However, it does not replace the need to self-test regularly. People can still catch and spread the virus after having both doses. 
It will remain a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. 
Dr Gogarty, said: “The legal restrictions are no longer in place, but common sense must be. This latest milestone does not mark the end of the pandemic, but rather a cautious step that has been made possible largely due to the success of the vaccination programme.  
“Covid-19 cases in Essex are continuing to rise, although the rate of hospitalisations and deaths thankfully remain low. However, it shows that we cannot let down our guard. We must all learn to live safely with the virus, remain considerate of others and take sensible steps to Keep Covid in Check.” 

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said: “I am sure that many people will be excited at the prospect of today. For others, they may understandably feel daunted given the events of the past 18 months. 
“There is no right date for removing all legal limits, but we must learn to manage the risk ourselves. Therefore, we need to go cautiously into this next step, practice safety first and continue to follow the recommended guidance so that we can protect ourselves and each other. As I have said elsewhere, we don’t need a law to tell us to look both ways before crossing the street.” 
Residents can read more about the Government’s Covid-19 response this summer and what it means for them. 
More information about the support available to Essex residents and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic can be found on ECC’s Coronavirus Hub


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