Caution urged for Warwickshire residents as lockdown restrictions ease

Covid-19 restrictions have eased across England today and Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police are urging residents to 'remain cautious and continue to do the right thing'.

Residents are being reminded to only meet outdoors (including in private gardens) either in a group of six or two households

maintaining a two-metre distance from others outside of their homes or support bubble, wear face coverings when required to do so and to wash their hands regularly.

Outdoor sports and leisure activities such as golf courses, football pitches, tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools have now also reopened and organised outdoor team sports can take place.

NHS Coronavirus poster.

Although some rules have changed, many restrictions still remain in place.

Residents must not socialise indoors with anyone they do not live with unless they are part of a support bubble.

The community are also encouraged to minimise the number of journeys made to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

The advice remains the same to get a test and follow the stay-at-home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council says: “The easing of restrictions coincides with welcome warmer weather over the coming days, this is a positive step.

"I know people across the County will be looking forward to meeting up with friends and family over the Easter break.

“I do understand that we are all keen to enjoy a little more freedom however I urge residents to remain vigilant.

"With cases rising across Europe and new variants posing a potential risk to the vaccine rollout, the pandemic is not over yet.

“We must all remain cautious and continue to do the right thing for Warwickshire by washing our hands, wearing a face covering and keeping a distance.

"I would also like to encourage people to come forward for a vaccine when they are called so that we can continue on the roadmap out of lockdown.”

ACC Alex Franklin Smith from Warwickshire Police said: “We all welcome the steps towards a more normal way of life, with the return of organised sports and outdoor meeting for groups of up to six people or from two households.

"But please be aware that there are still restrictions in place due to the ongoing risk from the virus.

“Once again, I would like to thank Warwickshire people for following the rules so far, as they have played their part in helping us to get to this point, where we can see better days ahead. Please enjoy the activities that are now allowed, but make sure you know the rules and stick to them.

“Mixing households inside is still not permitted right now, and outdoor gatherings are limited.

"We know it is tempting to relax as we head towards the end of lockdown, but we cannot risk undoing all that has been achieved so far. We have seen an increase in parties and gatherings in recent weeks, and this is not sensible.

"Our officers continue to apply the four Es approach – engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce – and where it proves necessary we will take that enforcement step to protect our communities against blatant breaches.

“The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown does give people hope and some light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot be complacent. It is vital people continue to follow the rules at each stage when restrictions are eased. Otherwise, we risk undermining our efforts up to now.”

For further information on the latest COVID-19 guidelines click here.