So the clocks have sprung forward – marking the start of British Summer Time – but it’s not just the clocks moving forward - this week also marks another milestone on the journey out of national COVID-19 lockdown.
From this week some of the social and leisure restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus are being eased.
People will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six from different households outdoors. Two households can also meet outside. Children under the age of five do not count within restrictions, and up to two carers per person are also permitted within the limits. Outdoor settings include public open spaces like parks, and private spaces like gardens.
Social distancing rules still apply to people from different households meeting, even outside.
In Newham residents will once again be able to use:
- Tennis and basketball courts
- Outdoor gyms
- Pitches for organised sport like cricket and football
The easing of the restrictions is a positive step – but the virus is still out there – last week there were 145 new cases of coronavirus in Newham so residents must:
- Continue to follow the principles of ‘hands, face, space and ventilation’
- Follow the COVID-19 measures that remain in place
- If you cannot work from home, have someone in your household leaving home for work or education or have COVID-19 symptoms get tested
- Get vaccinated when offered
Newham’s Director of Public Health Jason Strelitz said; “This Easter weekend please don’t open the door to a fresh wave of COVID-19. Follow the new rules, practise social distancing, always have a face mask available for use indoors or on public transport, and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
“We have come such a long way in the battle against coronavirus, the vaccination programme is well underway offering further light at the end of the tunnel. But now is not the time to relax – we have seen third waves of the virus in Europe – and we must all do our bit to avoid that here.
“We know the virus spreads much more easily indoors – so please this Bank Holiday - make the outdoors your place to renew social contacts.
“Enjoy the Easter break, enjoy some fresh air, but first and foremost keep yourselves, your loved ones and your community safe.”