As lockdown restrictions ease on Monday (29 March) Stoke-on-Trent City Council is urging residents to act cautiously.
From Monday (29 March), larger groups of up to six people or two households will be allowed to gather in parks and public and private gardens, under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown restrictions. From this point, the government’s ‘stay at home’ order will end and people will instead be encouraged to stay local where possible.
City council covid stewards will be increasing patrols across local parks and providing guidance to residents on the new restriction changes.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “It’s wonderful news as evenings are getting lighter and the weather is starting to get warmer that we can all now see friends and family outside in limited numbers. Whilst this is one step closer to life feeling somewhat normal again in Stoke-on-Trent and the reopening of our economy, we all still need to act cautiously, remember hands, face, space and get a COVID-19 test weekly.
“Please don’t abuse these new easing of restrictions, if you do, you are jeopardising the chances of the restrictions being eased further. We want all our local businesses to be able to open again.”
Residents are reminded to keep getting tested weekly, as one in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms and may be silent spreaders.
Rapid result, lateral flow tests can be booked at community venues and pharmacies across the city, with appointments available, early mornings, evenings and weekends. Tests can be booked at www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test. Walk ins are welcome.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “Testing is and will continue to be a vital part of our response to coronavirus. As further social mixing is allowed outdoors from Monday, we need to be sure that each COVID-19 case is found as quickly and as easily as possible.
“If you start to meet loved ones outside, get tested on your way or the day before. The free test takes less than five minutes and you will get your results within half an hour. Get a weekly test for peace of mind and to protect those whom you love and can now meet up with once again. Let’s not undo all our hard work.”