Cllr Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council and Chair of the city’s Coronavirus Outbreak Prevention and Engagement Board, has said the government’s decision to delay lifting remaining restrictions for up to four weeks is a message to everyone to continue to take the virus seriously.
Cllr Hale said practising virus control measures, using regular no-symptom tests and getting both doses of the vaccine were vital steps for everyone.
He said: “This is not unexpected, but it is disappointing, particularly for those businesses like music venues and nightclubs which were ready to finally reopen after being shut down throughout the entire pandemic.
“Hull has proven time and time again over these difficult months how resilient it is. What we must all do now, to ensure those businesses do open their doors again soon and we continue moving forward safely, is to work together. Preventing spread of the virus must be a priority for all of us.
“Following public health advice is absolutely vital. It is the way we will suppress the virus, protect each other and get to a position where it is safe to take that next step.
“While this is difficult news, it is the right thing to do. People’s health and wellbeing must take precedence and if the data is telling us it isn’t safe to move forward yet, we have to listen”.
Tim Fielding, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hull City Council, said every person in Hull had a part to play in the coming weeks.
He said: “This is disheartening but necessary. It’s frustrating for all of us to be so close and told we have to wait a little longer. In-line with the national picture, our rates of the virus are increasing, although with 33 cases per 100,000 people this is 51 per cent lower than the national rate and 55 per cent below the rate for Yorkshire and Humber. Three weeks ago, our rate was 15 cases per 100,000 people.
“It is good news that the vaccination programme will be accelerated. Vaccinations are absolutely critical and so far the take-up in Hull has been excellent. Younger people are now able to get theirs and we’re rolling out further all the time. Everyone must get their second dose for full protection – and you still need to be vaccinated even if you’ve had the virus at any point.
“We are working closely with all our health colleagues to ensure we reach people who, for whatever reason, have not yet had theirs despite being invited.
“There are things we must all do to keep ourselves and each other safe, which will help ensure we reach the point where it’s safe to move forward as soon as possible.
“It is critical to be aware of Coronavirus symptoms. These are the same regardless of variant. If you have a temperature, cough that doesn’t go away or food and drink taste of nothing, those are signs you may have the virus. If you have even one symptom, you must isolate with your household. Stay at home and only leave for a PCR test, nothing else, including going to work, walking a dog or going to the shop.
“The advice is nothing new, it is all things we’ve all been doing throughout the pandemic, Wash and sanitise hands regularly, wear face coverings everywhere necessary, continue to keep space from others, particularly those you don’t know.
“Getting no-symptom tests is now easier than ever. Check the council website for details of when our mobile van and pod are in your area. You don’t need an appointment, tests are free and you get results in 30 minutes – and there’s no need to wait around for them. Either get them done by a trained member of the team, or collect tests to take home”.
See where the mobile no-symptom testing units will be here: http://www.hull.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-community-advice-and-support/lateral-flow-testing-book-test If you have symptoms, book a test here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test Book your vaccination, or find out who can book here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/