Coronavirus: Enjoy and stay safe this half-term Bank Holiday
With the half-term Bank Holiday coming up, Shropshire Council’s public health team, along with West Mercia Police, are reminding residents to stay safe and help protect themselves and others by continuing to follow Government guidance.
Whilst Government changes allow a little more freedom, such as exercising more and being outdoors, several rules have stayed the same and social distancing measures remain in place.
The public health team have pulled together some helpful advice based on the Government guidelines, to help people keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Be responsible and play your part in saving lives
To keep everyone safe, stay at home as much as possible. You still must not visit friends or family who are not from your household in their homes, or gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household) except for a few specific exceptions set out in law. We all know this is hard, but is essential to help stop the spread of the virus.
To protect others, you must stay at home if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is called self-isolation. If you think you might have coronavirus, check if you need to self-isolate using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
Enjoy being outside more in a safe way
The new rules say you can now meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines, exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines – and use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person, while staying two metres apart.
The outdoors and exercise is great for our mental health and wellbeing as well as keeping us physically healthy, but please remember to act sensibly and consider if you need to travel to exercise. This may overwhelm certain parts of the county. Shropshire is the largest inland rural county in England, and we are very lucky to have beautiful countryside on our doorsteps. It will still be here for everyone to enjoy after lockdown.
Keep your hands and face as clean as possible
Wash your hands often using soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. Wash hands for 20 seconds each time. Where available, use sanitiser outside your home, especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces. Avoid touching your face.
Look after your wellbeing, and seek advice when you need it
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all in different ways. Keeping physically active if you can, keeping in touch with others online or by telephone, and looking after our mental health, are all important.
Shropshire Council has a dedicated coronavirus Helpline to help those who are vulnerable and in need of help. You can contact the Helpline on 0345 678 9028 for any coronavirus-related issues and enquiries, between 8am to 6pm weekdays, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Each caller will be asked to explain their need and, if required, this information will be passed onto the appropriate support.
Please note: The helpline is for council services only – for any health-related queries and issues please use the NHS 111 online service.
The public health team, along with partners, have recently invested over £42,000 on a suite of Mental Health Resources to help support people’s mental health and wellbeing, through and beyond coronavirus.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:-
“We want everyone to enjoy the half-term Bank Holiday safely and just want to remind people to please still follow the social distancing and hygiene guidelines. We’re not out of this yet, so it’s so important that we work together to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“The pattern and curve of the COVID-19 pandemic across Shropshire has taken a different pattern to national and regional. Cases and deaths curves in Shropshire have been much flatter than the national and regional picture.
“It’s therefore really important that people adhere to the Government guidance regarding social distancing and good hygiene. We want to remind everyone in Shropshire to follow Government guidance, and stay safe, and be responsible to protect themselves and others, and help contain coronavirus.”
Superintendent Mo Lansdale added:-
“We are continuing with our reassurance patrols and are engaging with people, explaining that the Government’s request for social distancing remains in place and encouraging people to do the right thing.
“We will also take enforcement action where absolutely necessary. Significant or serious breaches of the Covid-19 regulations can still be reported to us on our website here.
“If you travel somewhere and it’s busy, please be sensible and go elsewhere or return at a different time. Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the ongoing national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.”
You can find helpful information and links to other sources of help and advice on the Shropshire Council coronavirus pages https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/information-for-the-public/
Click on the different subject boxes on the page.
Keep informed and sign up to our daily coronavirus email updates
Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.
This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.
Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.