Leicestershire County Council’s director of public health says the lowest COVID-19 infection rates since the summer of 2020 are “welcome news” while re-iterating a ‘stay cautious’ message as lockdown restrictions further ease from Monday (12 April).
One clear signpost towards recovery is how rates in the Harborough district have fallen – by almost 50 per cent in the seven days up to Monday, 5 April. No-one aged over 65 is believed to have been infected with COVID-19 in the district since 26 March.
There also haven’t been any positive cases among the over-60s in Blaby district and north-west Leicestershire.
However, as non-essential shops, libraries, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality begin to re-open, Mike Sandys says that, despite the encouraging drop in rates, he doesn’t want people to “drop their guard”.
He said: The fall in rates is really welcome news and, while we’re definitely getting on top of the pandemic, there’s still a way to go, but all the pointers are definitely in the right direction.
“The county is starting to open up again – but the effect will also be more people being out and about – so please stay sensible and vigilant and follow the basics around hands, face, space and fresh air.”
• Students return to their classrooms and the county council is sending out letters to all primary and secondary schools, with reminder messages around staying safe in and out of school which will then be distributed to parents;
• Libraries across the county are also back open for browsing and taking away books from Monday – with extensive work going on behind the scenes to make them as safe as possible with one-way systems, restrictions on numbers so that people can socially distance and returned books being removed from circulation for up to 72 hours before going back on to the shelves;
• For the latest updates, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/libraries
• Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 15 people, with receptions and celebrations also able to take place outside, with the same limit on numbers in place;
• Lateral flow tests are now available for everyone. The government’s expanded testing for people without symptoms will be delivered through:
– a home ordering service
– community testing – there is a test site in each district and in other local authority areas if you don’t live in Leicestershire
– collection at a local ‘PCR’ test site during specific collection times
– testing at schools and colleges
– a new ‘pharmacy collect’ service
– Private sector workplaces
Details are provided on www.gov.uk
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.