People of Lancashire urged to enjoy new freedoms responsibly
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Senior figures at the forefront of Lancashire's response to the Covid-19 pandemic are urging residents to remain vigilant as they enjoy their new-found freedoms.
Excitement is in the air as the county takes the biggest step yet towards regular life with the latest easing of restrictions, part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown,
Non-essential shops have now reopened as have hairdressers – much to the relief of people who are ready to get rid of those lockdown locks. Pubs and restaurants have also been working around the clock to prepare for a partial reopening, with punters able to bask in the sun and enjoy a pint in outside seating areas.
For those wanting to lose all those extra pounds that have racked up during lockdown, gyms and swimming pools are finally reopened again.
Restrictions do remain in place to enable us to continue to open our economy without having to slam on the brakes and shift into reverse. It is important that you wear a mask when asked by staff, unless you have a legitimate exemption, and provide contact details when requested.
As the people of Lancashire reclaim pre-pandemic life, it is more important than ever to continue following the rules to prevent any further setbacks.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council's Director of Public Health, said: "The latest easing of restrictions has been enabled by the hard work and sacrifices of the people of Lancashire.
"Your dedication to the cause, bolstered by the excellent work of our NHS-led vaccination programme, has helped drive down infections of Covid-19 in our communities. But while we are now able to enjoy some of our freedoms once again, we must also be mindful of the risk Covid-19 still faces. Infection levels are the lowest they have been for some time, but the virus has not gone away from our communities entirely, and a significant portion of people are still yet to be vaccinated.
"We want you to enjoy your freedoms, but please continue to follow the rules. Please continue to follow hands, face, space, and keep indoor spaces well ventilated. All of this, alongside the vaccine, will help to avoid a fourth wave and will ensure Lancashire can recover and most importantly – bounce back – from the pandemic."
Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) – the multi-agency partnership leading Lancashire's response to Covid-19 – recently moved into the recovery phase of the pandemic. This has seen Denise Park, chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, take up the reigns as chair of the LRF.
Denise said: "This latest lockdown has been especially difficult for so many of us, perhaps more so than any of the previous ones we have endured throughout the pandemic. But as we gradually reclaim life as it was before Covid-19, we do so from a position of strength.
"The vaccination programme is in full swing and infection levels continue to fall, thanks to all of your sacrifices. Thank you. You should absolutely enjoy the new-found freedoms you have earned.
"As we enjoy some of life's simple pleasures, it is so important that people continue to play their part and not let their guards down. By following the rules, you will help avoid another wave in Lancashire and the potential restrictions that could bring and allow all of the efforts to be on rebuilding our great county."