Top tips for a safe bank holiday weekend
Sunderland's Director of Public Health is urging people to enjoy this bank holiday weekend safely.
With the city's Covid rates at some of their lowest since last August and many people looking forward to catching up with family and friends, Gerry Taylor, Sunderland's Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning has shared some of her top tips to help people stay safe.
She said: "I know many of us are really looking forward to making the most of the bank holiday and meeting up with friends and family. Therefore it's really important to remember that even though our rates are much lower now, Covid is still here and is likely to be with us for some time. So we need to keep following the guidance which has helped us get this far.
"The fact that we've managed to make such good progress is very much down to everyone in our city doing their best to follow the rules and take up their vaccinations when they're invited to do. We all want to get back to doing the things we used to be able to do and the fastest way to get there is by sticking to the guidelines in place to keep us all safe."
Gerry's top tips for a safe bank holiday weekend are:
- Remember to follow the hands, face and space guidance at all times. So when we're outside that means staying two metres apart from those outside our household or household bubble, washing our hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. it also means wearing a face covering when we're in enclosed environments such as shops.
- If you go out somewhere and it looks crowded, think about going back at a different time or another day when it might be less busy and it's easier to stay 2 metres apart or go somewhere quieter
- Stick to the rule of six which allows six people or two households of any size to meet up outdoors. But remember, even when you're meeting up outdoors, you still need to socially distance and the rule of six includes children too.
- If you're planning to meet up in someone's garden, plan ahead and take your own drinks with you so that you're not sharing glasses or crockery, and don't be tempted to pop to the bathroom
- If the weather takes a turn for the worse when you are meeting up in someone's garden, don't be tempted to pop into their house to get warm or keep dry - it's much easier to catch Covid indoors and one in three people don't have symptoms, so you could unknowingly be putting them and yourself at risk
The City Council will have Covid marshals out and about patrolling busy areas including parks and beaches over the bank holiday weekend and helping people stay safe. People are also being encouraged to dispose of their rubbish responsibly in the litter bins provided and to take their rubbish home with them if bins are full.
Gerry said: "We want everyone to have a lovely and relaxing bank holiday weekend but it's really important to stick to the rules so we can continue to make progress and get to the position where restrictions can be eased further."