Together We're Better Stakeholder Update: 22 June 2020
Tue 30 Jun 2020
This week has seen the announcement of plans for the biggest easing of lockdown restrictions since the UK entered lockdown on 23 March. Many plans have now been laid out for July, which will see life return to a much more familiar state for most of us.
People up and down the country who were identified as the most clinically vulnerable were asked to shield in their homes for numerous months, back in March. This week it was announced that from 6 July those shielding patients in England can, if they wish, meet in a group of up to six, including people from different households, whilst maintaining strict social distancing. Shielding patients may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household from 6 July. From 1 August the advice to shield will be paused entirely, meaning that people can go to work (if they cannot work from home), visit places of worship and children can return to education settings. Social distancing must still be followed. Until these dates, shielding guidance remains unchanged. More information can be found here.
When this comes into play, the social distancing rule of 2m will have reduced. From 4 July, this rule will be reduced in England to at least 1m where it is not possible to do 2m. It is important to point out that when 2m distancing is not possible, extra steps should be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, such as wearing a face covering and further hand washing.
From the same date (4 July), members from two households in England will be able to meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors, where social distancing is possible. The limit for people meeting outdoors from several houses will remain at six. This means that you can meet indoors or outdoors with one other household of any size, but when meeting with people from several different households this must still be done outside and only in groups of up to six people.
Pub, restaurants, cafes will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, alongside museums, cinemas, and galleries. Libraries, community centres, places of worship, bingo halls, funfairs, hair salons and barbers are amongst the list of other places that will also be allowed to reopen from 4 July. Beauty salons, spas, swimming pools, tattoo parlours and indoor gyms/fitness studios must remain closed, however. The full lists of places which can open and those which must remain closed can be found here.
This easing of the national lockdown will come into place as the government has announced that the five tests for measuring the state of the coronavirus pandemic across the country are being continuously met. This, however, is not to say that the virus has gone away. People must continue to be aware of the risk and be vigilant when lockdown measures do ease. Continuing to wash hands frequently and abiding by social distancing rules, even by 1m (where 2m is not possible), will help to ensure that all of the good work that has been done since March is not reversed.
Local lockdowns will be put in place if any outbreaks are identified and the NHS Test and Trace service will play an instrumental role in this. People are being urged to abide by any instructions they are given if contacted by NHS tracers, even if they do not have symptoms themselves. Anyone experiencing symptoms must self-isolate straight away and book at test as soon as possible here, or by calling 119.
This month has marked Pride month and people have been celebrating online using the hashtags #PrideMonth and #Pride2020. Today (Friday 26 June) people across the country will be taking part in #NHSVirtualPride, celebrating all LGBT+ NHS staff. Anyone wishing to get involved can head over to @VirtualNHSPride for more information. Online events will start at 6pm.
Next week will see the NHS turn 72. For this, we are asking local people to send in videos saying happy birthday and thank you to all NHS staff across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who have worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep everyone as safe as possible. Find out how to get involved here.
Across the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent system the latest updates are:
- Partners are urging local people to stay safe while enjoying the hot weather – remember to apply sun cream and drink plenty of water. Also observe social distancing when meeting friends or family
- Local authorities have been urging people to celebrate Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day (27 June) at home, following national guidance at all times
- Staffordshire Police is reminding people not to swim in open water during hot weather
- Staffordshire County Council has released this video, explaining the NHS Test and Trace service and what it means
- PPE packs are being offered to business of less than nine employees by Staffordshire County Council to help them get up and running after lockdown
- More thank 1,500 laptops have been delivered to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for distribution to disadvantaged school pupils to help them access education materials during lockdown
- Local hospital trusts have been releasing updates on what can be expected when people go into hospital now
Useful resources available:
- Hospital mask and face covering guidance materials
- New stay alert materials, including messages on shopping, working, travelling and how to make your own face covering
- New NHS Test and Trace materials are available to use on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre
- Signposting materials with useful information on how people can contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions and manage wellbeing and existing conditions at home
- Public Health England guide on how older adults can stay active at home during coronavirus to maintain strength and balance
- Translated information leaflets for parents with new-borns during coronavirus
- Mental wellbeing whilst staying at home
- North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust mental health support and advice guide
- Guidance on shielding
- Blood donation materials
- Stay Alert To Stay Safe materials
- Symptoms materials
- Useful videos during coronavirus (including British Sign Language)