Coronavirus: Keep yourself and others safe as some Lockdown measures are eased on 29 March
Restrictions on outdoor mixing will start to be eased across Shropshire from Monday (29 March 2021), as the country takes its next careful step towards leaving the third lockdown.
From Monday six people, or two households, will be able to meet outdoors and in private gardens, allowing families and friends to see each other once again, while respecting social distancing guidance.
Outdoor activities such as tennis and golf can resume; and formally-organised outdoor sports, such as grassroots football, can get under way again too.
While coronavirus rates in Shropshire remain one of the lowest in the West Midlands, the decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases has started to slow down, after the rapid falls of recent weeks.
People in the county are reminded to stay vigilant and continue to follow social distancing guidance – and to keep working from home, if they can.
We are also asking everyone who needs to work or volunteer away from home, or has children at school, to make regular symptom-free testing part of your weekly routine, with use of Lateral Flow Tests.
If a symptom-free test is not available where you work, you can attend one of our walk-in centres in Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Shrewsbury, book them at pharmacies around the county, or book an appointment at one of our council-run sites.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:
“The easing of restrictions on outdoor mixing will be a real boost for people’s mental health, as families and friends are allowed to meet up again in private gardens, but we do need to exercise caution.
“The whole of Shropshire has worked so hard to bring the infection rate down here, and we need to keep following the rules to keep cases low.
“When meeting people outdoors, it’s important to remember that people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other.
“As tempting as it may be, please don’t invite people indoors. The risks of catching the virus are much higher, so mixing indoors with people you don’t live with is still not permitted – unless they’re in your support bubble.
“While being vaccinated provides good protection from becoming unwell with COVID-19 and we’re all looking forward to being able to see our friends and family again, it’s very important that when you have been vaccinated you continue to follow social distancing rules and any Government guidance on restrictions.”
From Monday, people are no longer legally required to stay at home, but people should continue to minimise travel and should not be staying away from home overnight.
While it is still not possible to meet people from other households indoors, parent and child groups can take place outdoors from Monday with a limit of 15 attendees – with children under five not counting towards the attendee limit.
More information about the Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions can be found here.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, the symptom-free test (Lateral Flow Test) is not the right test to take. You should book a regular COVID-19 test – known as a PCR test – if you have symptoms.
For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating or shielding), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus).