Lockdown measures imposed by the Government in March have meant big changes to the way we all live, work and socialise.
And although the Government has now taken some tentative steps towards modifying those measures, the message for people in Leicester remains the same: stay at home as much as possible – and work from home, if you can – to help save lives by slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
If you can’t work from home, and your workplace is reopening, your employer should be following Government guidelines to ensure your workplace is safe.
Until further notice, you should continue to:
Stay at home as much as possible
Work from home if you can
Limit contact with other people
Keep your distance whenever you go out (keeping two metres apart)
Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water or hand sanitiser
Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms, however mild.
You may also want to consider wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces – such as on buses – where social distancing isn’t always possible.
From tomorrow (Wednesday 13 May), time restrictions on outdoor exercising will be lifted, which means people will be able to spend us much time as they like exercising outdoors, or sitting in parks, with members of their household.
People will also be able to meet up with one individual from another household in outdoor spaces, providing they remain two metres apart.
Please note that public gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited. The police have powers to fine anyone who flouts the social distancing rules, with fines for a first offence set to increase from £60 to £100.
However, no one should leave home, if they – or anyone in their household – have symptoms of coronavirus: a high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back) or a new, continuous cough (this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours). Check the NHS website if you have symptoms.
If you have either of these symptoms, however mild, you need to remain at home and self-isolate for seven days, if you live alone.
Anyone you live with should not leave your home for 14 days. Remember: you can still pass the virus on, even if you don’t have symptoms.
Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill – but for some people, the risks are much higher.
Those classed as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' and at high risk include people with certain cancers, those who have received organ transplants, people on certain immunosuppression therapies, and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as severe asthma or severe COPD.
All those classed as at high risk should not leave their home for any reason and should ‘shield’ themselves from the disease until further notice. Those at high risk should have received a letter from the NHS, providing further help and advice. Further information is available here.
People at ‘moderate risk’, and therefore clinically vulnerable, include those aged 70 and over, people of any age with an underlying health condition, people with a weakened immune system, very obese people (with a BMI of 40 or above) and pregnant women. Those at moderate risk should stay at home as much as possible and follow social distancing guidelines closely.
With the Government updating its advice to people on a regular basis, it’s important that you only go to trusted sources – such as BBC Radio Leicester and the Leicester Mercury – for reliable and up-to-date information that will help keep you and your family safe.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “What is clear is that lockdown is not going to end all in one go and it will be a complex and gradual process.
“The government has announced it would like schools to begin to re-open on 1 June, and we are working to set dates for our other buildings and services to re-open. But when we do so it will be in a managed way, with careful regard for people’s safety.
“Please continue to follow the rules on distancing, and, if in doubt, stay home. We have done well to limit the spread of the virus in Leicester – let’s not risk a second wave of infections.”
The Government’s latest advice is available at www.gov.uk
Guidance for vulnerable people, and for those who care for older or vulnerable people, is available here.
If you're struggling because of coronavirus - for example, with paying bills, being out of work, or taking care of your mental health - you can find help here.
Information about the coronavirus in Leicester is available at leicester.gov.uk while information
about council services affected by coronavirus can be found at leicester.gov.uk/serviceupdates
Leicester City Council Press released