Letter to Businesses from Dr Rupert Suckling

A letter to businesses from the Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council ahead of further easing of restrictions on Monday May 17th 2021.

As we head towards step three of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, I once again wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone within our community for all you are doing to help keep the numbers of coronavirus cases in Doncaster as low as possible. If we can all continue with this effort it will really make a difference to slowing down the spread of the virus across the borough.

The next step will see a considerable relaxation of the guidance. From May 17, what this means for you is:

  • Six people/two households being allowed to meet indoors
  • Groups of 30 people being allowed to meet outdoors
  • Indoor hospitality will reopen with pubs, restaurants, and cafes able to welcome customers back
  • Cinema, theatre, and sports will be able to reopen again
  • Hotels can reopen and business conference centres can once again hold events
  • Travel and overnight stays within Britain will once again be able to take place

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 14 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

While lots of the guidelines are being relaxed it is important that we all still do everything that we can to protect ourselves and others, 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.

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/coronavirus-financial-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 to our testing FAQs is also 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 to 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

Vaccinations

The vaccination programme is doing well, and everyone aged 40 or over should have now been invited for their first vaccine.

It is extremely heartening to see the local figures showing that more than 174,000 people have had their first dose and more than 88,000 people have received both doses and are fully vaccinated.

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

I hope you find the above information helpful. I know what a difficult time it has been for so many people across our community, but I am incredibly proud of the Team Doncaster approach we are taking and would encourage everyone to continue to do all they can. Thank you for all your efforts so far, they really are appreciated.

We all want to see the smooth ease of restrictions so we need to be cautious and vigilant wherever we can, encouraging everyone within our communities to make sensible and informed decisions as we continue towards the next stage of the roadmap.

If you need any further support or guidance, please do get in touch with me or my colleagues within Public Health who will be more than happy to help. We are here to support you as much as we can.

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

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