|I want to start by thanking you for everything you have done to help keep your communities safe throughout the pandemic.
Yesterday marked a significant milestone for Southampton in almost 16 months with the lifting of COVID-19 legal restrictions.
But as a city, we still have a lot of work to do if we are to make this transition smoothly because COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so although restrictions are ending, Covid isn’t.
Cases are increasing in Southampton, and they are expected to rise further over the coming weeks, especially as we mix more with others.
Whilst there will no longer be a need to legally enforce rules like face coverings and social distancing, we all need to use our judgement and common sense to protect ourselves, our families, friends and communities.
Individual settings may choose to continue specific measures to reduce the risk of infection.
The Government has highlighted a number of ways people can continue to stay safe and help prevent the spread of infection.
· Being fully vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccinations
· Continuing to use hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning and ventilation to reduce risk
· Continuing to use face coverings when mixing in crowded indoor spaces
· Isolating and arranging a PCR test when someone has symptoms
· Continuing to use twice weekly symptom-free rapid tests (lateral flow devices) when well
· Isolating for 10 days when a test is positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace
· Border quarantining when arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries
We would encourage a precautionary and gradual relaxation of protective measures to keep your organisations and communities safe.
We are here to support you and our public health team can offer you specific infection prevention and control advice if you have any questions – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Debbie Chase
Director of Public Health
Southampton City Council