Freedom Day: Calderdale people urged to remain cautious and be kind

Calderdale people are encouraged to remain cautious, be kind and help each other to stay safe when national COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed from Monday July 19.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:54 pm

Restrictions are ending as step four of the national roadmap see many things returning to some normality.

Councillor Tim Swift Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “National restrictions are ending but COVID-19 isn’t. Our local case rates remain high, and are unfortunately expected to increase as restrictions ease.

“Throughout the pandemic, Calderdale’s kindness has been stronger than ever, and our togetherness has got us through some really tough times.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift

"We know that many people will be excited about the lifting of restrictions, and others will be concerned and anxious, especially those with health conditions that mean they can’t have the vaccine or it won’t work as well for them.

"It’s important to remember not everyone feels the same way about the ending of the restrictions as we do, and that we respect different views and are considerate to others.

“We can protect our whole community by continuing to wear face coverings, social distancing, getting tested and isolating when we have symptoms.

"Through these acts of kindness, we’re also making sure that the businesses and services we need and enjoy can remain open by reducing the spread of the virus.

"Local organisations have worked so hard to stay safe and keep going, and we will support them to continue some of the public health measures they have introduced to help protect people.”

The Council will operate within Government guidance but will remain mindful of, and adaptable to, the local situation in Calderdale.

Some of the positive changes that have come out of the pandemic will remain, such as the move towards more digital services to increase efficiency, reduce costs and address the climate emergency.

Deborah Harkins, the Council’s Director of Public Health, added: “Step 4 of the roadmap will see many of the Government’s legal restrictions removed, but this is not a return to the pre-COVID ‘normal’.

"Case rates are still too high, and are likely to increase more over the next few weeks, putting pressure on local health services.

"That’s why it’s so important that we maintain the community spirit that Calderdale is known for, and continue to act carefully. We’re all so used to doing the five big things now, so let’s keep up the great work while we continue to manage the virus.

"It won’t be the law but we can still wear masks in places where there may be vulnerable people and keep our distance from others out of kindness to others.

“Getting both doses of the vaccine reduces the risk of us getting seriously ill from COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant, and means we are less likely to pass it on to others.

“As an employer, we have a duty of care to our staff and their wellbeing. By protecting them and our residents, we can continue to deliver essential services which people rely on.

"So, whilst we’re relaxing some restrictions in our services, we’re also keeping some of the public health measures that help to protect people, provide a better service and have been welcomed, such as pre-booked slots.

"We’ll be strongly encouraging our staff and service users to keep wearing masks and social distancing after 19 July – this supports the reopening of our economy, and helps keep people safe and services running.”

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