With residents following restrictions and getting vaccinated as soon as they are offered, Covid-19 case rates in North Somerset have dropped significantly.
In line with government rules, indoor socialising, hospitality, and entertainment starts back today (Monday), but experts warn going slowly and carefully towards more normality remains critical to keeping the rates down.
Groups of six or two households can meet indoors, while up to 30 can meet outside. The most significant change in this stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, is a shift to personal choice, with people given the option as to whether to socially distance from friends and family when they meet up.
North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices we’ve made, we’re seeing the lowest coronavirus rates since last summer in North Somerset.
“But this deadly virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still circulating, and some people will be more vulnerable than others to the dangers. While vaccination significantly reduces the risk, it does not remove it completely.
“Having lived with this for more than a year, we’re aware of the risks of socialising and how quickly a few cases can spread if we aren’t careful.
“Remembering this, making carefully considered choices about what we feel comfortable to do in the coming weeks and months, and avoiding situations that we feel are too risky, will keep Covid under control in North Somerset.”
Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, added: “We need to take this next step slowly and safely and not undo all the hard work of the last year.
“We know Covid is less likely to spread outside, so if we can choose to stay outside as much as possible, even though we can meet inside, we will be reducing our risk.
“If the English weather forces us inside, opening windows will help keep air moving. And the basics of washing hands, covering faces, and making space, continue to be essential.
“Everyone will have had very different experiences of Covid, and we all have our own situations in which we will feel happy as we unlock, so please be kind and respectful to each other.”
In line with the new rules, remaining council services have opened today with Covid safety restrictions still in place.
Weston’s Playhouse theatre is reopening its doors, and trial events will be taking place at the Tropicana.
Appointments are still needed for many services, such as at the town hall, children’s centres, or at the Motex centre, the equipment demonstration centre in Weston.