Herefordshire residents asked to continue playing their part

A further relaxation of national lockdown measures takes effect from today (Monday March 29) with outdoor gatherings – including those in private gardens – of up to six people or two households allowed.

The government believes it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors and is making it easier for families and friends to meet outside.

Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sport.

In addition, the “Stay At Home” rule ends today but many restrictions will remain. The government says people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.

The first stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown started on Monday March 8 when students returned to face-to-face education in schools and colleges; childcare resumed and regular rapid COVID-19 testing was provided for teachers and students.

Stage 2 of the roadmap, which will not come in before April 12, will allow the opening of non-essential retail, personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Gyms, outdoor hospitality venues e.g. pub gardens and outdoor cafes, zoos and theme parks will also be allowed to reopen. For a full list of business types and setting is available on the government website.

Herefordshire’s Director of Public Health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones said:

“I want to thank the people of Herefordshire, who have followed the government guidance during this national lockdown. Their actions, together with the COVID-19 testing and tracing system and vaccination rollout, have played a central role in driving down case rates to enable the gradual lifting of restrictions.

“We know how important contact with our family and friends is for our health and wellbeing. Many people in Herefordshire have been looking forward to the days when they could see more family and friends and resume some of the activities they enjoy. For your health and that of your family and your friends please do so safely.

“It is important everyone follows the guidance to only meet up outdoors with a limited number of people and to stay 2m apart from those not in your household/support bubble. In addition, the local COVID-19 testing facilities are available for people both with and without symptoms. I want to encourage everyone to have the vaccine when they are invited. Together these measures are key to us progressing out of this pandemic.”

To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space.

  • 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 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 anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
  • Vaccination – take up COVID-19 vaccination when you are invited to do so.

For details of local COVID-19 testing facilities for people with and without symptoms please visit the Herefordshire Council’s website.

Published: 29th March 2021