Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill advises South Holland residents to 'be careful who you hug' as Covid restrictions ease next week
The leader of Lincolnshire County Council is warning residents to 'be careful who you hug' ahead of restrictions easing next week.
Coun Martin Hill, Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board chairman, is advising people to be sensible when indoor mixing and hugging loved ones will be permitted from Monday.
Monday will mark the start of step three of the Prime Minister's plan to cautiously lift Covid restrictions based on data, not dates.
Coun Hill, who represents Folkingham, said: "We welcome the next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, it's great news for Lincolnshire residents as we've all had to endure difficult restrictions to our way of life – but be sensible and be careful who you hug!"
"With Covid infection levels low and the huge success of the vaccination programme which has been a game changer, it's the right time to ease restrictions. People want to see their families and friends again and the great British weather has made it difficult restricting meetings to outside so far. Our businesses, particularly the hospitality sector, need to be able to open up and trade more freely again and begin to claw back the losses they have had to endure over the past year.
"But people must remember that the virus hasn't gone away so let's not spoil the remarkable progress we have made. Keep to the hands, face, space guidelines and make sure you have plenty of ventilation indoors. Think about who you hug and whether it's sensible, particularly the most vulnerable among family and friends and people who haven’t had two doses of the vaccine. If we just take a few cautious steps then it's likely we'll continue to be in a good place and look forward to a full path out of lockdown in June.
"Do take up the offer of the vaccine when it's your turn – it's the best way to stay protected. And please “complete the course” and have both doses to make sure you get the best protection possible.
"At this point I would like to thank everybody involved in the successful vaccine roll-out – especially all our wonderful volunteers who have stepped-up to help. And remember, people can get Lateral Flow Tests twice a week which helps to identify any infections without symptoms and stops transmission to others.
"We'll have to be vigilant and be prepared for variants in the autumn with possible further top-up doses of the vaccine. But let's enjoy this moment without giving the virus a chance to take hold once again."
The Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board (LOEB) has provided key political oversight and leadership during the covid-19 pandemic. It was set up with political representatives from Lincolnshire County Council and the district councils, the LEP, plus the CCG and NHS providers, Healthwatch and the Police and Crime Commissioner. A Covid-19 Health Protection Board (HPB) was also set up to provide further expert insight and guidance.