Letter to Businesses from Dr Rupert Suckling - June 2021

A letter to businesses from the Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council.

Dear Business Owner,

Following the government announcement regarding the four-week delay in the roadmap out of lockdown, I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you. I know that this news is disappointing, but it is important that we all continue to follow the guidance and do all that we can to slow down the spread of the virus across the borough.

There is no change in the guidance that is currently in place, what this means for you is:

  • Employees who can work from home must continue to do so
  • Indoor hospitality can remain open with pubs, restaurants, and cafes able to welcome customers back with table service
  • Cinema, theatre, and sports remain open
  • Hotels and business conference centres can hold events
  • Travel and overnight stays within Britain are able to take place.
  • Six people/two households are allowed to meet indoors
  • Groups of 30 people are allowed to meet outdoors.

From 21 June, the limit on 30 guests at weddings, funerals and wakes will be lifted.

You can find out more on the government’s website - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do.

Business Support

We know how hard the past 15 months have been on businesses and our Business Doncaster team have all the latest information on the support available to help you as restrictions ease and the economy starts to reopen.

www.businessdoncaster.co.uk/business-support/covid-19-support/

While many of you have returned to office spaces, retail premises and hospitality, the message from government is still for those who can work from home to work from home to help us reduce our contacts and get to the next step.

www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#going-to-work

Measures to continue to follow

It is still important that we all still do everything that we can to protect ourselves and others, so remember: Hands. Face. Space and fresh air

  • Hands - wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Face - wear a face covering in indoor settings such as restaurants and shops where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Space - stay at least 2 metres away from people when out within your community and at work. If you feel comfortable having contact with close family and friends, please think about the vulnerability of your loved ones and continue to show caution.
  • Fresh air – keep indoor spaces where you meet ventilated by opening windows and doors

Testing and isolating will be extremely important to help to keep the spread of the infection down and to help us move to the final step in the roadmap.

Please remember if anyone tests positive or comes into contact with a positive case of coronavirus they must self-isolate immediately for ten days. This remains vital in breaking the chain of infection.

In addition, if you are feeling generally unwell please stay at home and do not attend school, work, outings or special events.

Vaccinations

The vaccination programme is doing well, and at the time of writing, everyone aged 21 or over can now book at appointment. When you are eligible, please do this as quickly as possible by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. It is also very important that you attend for your second dose which should be done 8-12 weeks after your first.

If you have any questions or concerns about taking the vaccine visit our website for more information: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/health-wellbeing/vaccinations

Testing update

There are a number of symptomatic and asymptomatic testing options available for people in the borough:

Symptomatic

If you go on to develop one of the symptoms of Covid-19, a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss of sense of smell or taste please book a test via the NHS testing system (visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119).

In addition, please remember if you test positive or come into contact with a positive case of coronavirus to self-isolate immediately for ten days. Financial support for self-isolation may be available. Please visit: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/emergencies/coronavirusfinancial-advice to find out more.

Asymptomatic

A community testing programme is in place in Doncaster with the aim of identifying cases in people who ARE NOT displaying coronavirus symptoms and, in turn, reducing coronavirus transmission rates in the community.

Community testing sites, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs but also known as ‘rapid’ or LFT tests) have been established across the borough in key geographical areas, to provide regular tests for residents who do not have coronavirus symptoms.

Currently we have sites in Hexthorpe, Stainforth and Conisbrough for people who live and/or work in these areas.

Please visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/covidtesting for more information about these sites. This link is a really good resource to find out all about the testing programme here in Doncaster. Please feel free to share it.

We also have a mobile testing unit that is being deployed across the borough and weekly information about its location is available on our website.

Schools and families all have access to regular free LFD tests that are taken twice a week at home to reduce community transmission. Businesses have had the opportunity to register for LFD tests for employees and we urge you all to make the most of these opportunities to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Local Test and Trace

Our local test and trace service is operating across Doncaster. The service, which uses a local 01302 number, is operated by Doncaster Council’s trusted public health team who are invested in the Doncaster community and who are here to help and support Doncaster residents during this time.

The team will work with people with a positive result to identify contacts in a bid to reduce to the spread of the virus. It is important that people share details of those they have been in direct contact with to help us reduce transmission rates.

For more information, please visit: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/health-wellbeing/doncaster-s-local-test-and-trace-service

Thanks to the progress in all the areas mentioned in this letter we are now looking ahead to a brighter future. However, covid has not gone away and we must continue with our Team Doncaster approach and do all we can over the next few weeks to balance the risks and keep rates as low as possible across the borough. Thank you for all your efforts, they really are appreciated.

Together, let’s keep doing everything we can to make a difference. Let’s Do it for Doncaster.

Kind regards,

Dr Rupert Suckling
Director of Public Health

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