Protect Ourselves, Protect Norfolk – 15/05/20

SENT ON BEHALF OF THE NORFOLK RESILIENCE FORUM

Residents in Norfolk are being thanked for their responsible approach to the lockdown, and asked to keep working together to stop the spread of coronavirus as the government’s new guidelines come into force.

As the government has relaxed restrictions on spending time outdoors and meeting one member of another household, Partners of the Norfolk Resilience Forum, made up of organisations across Norfolk including councils, the blue light services and the NHS, are urging the public to respect social distancing and behave in a way that will help protect themselves and protect Norfolk from coronavirus.

Tom McCabe, Chair of Norfolk’s Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCG), said: “The people of Norfolk have been steadfast in their approach to following the restrictions so far. We know it hasn’t been easy for many people and I would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment in fighting the virus.

“We now move into a new phase of lockdown, which sees the easing of some restrictions giving people more freedom to go outside. Norfolk communities will appreciate that this is by no means the end of the road – rather the start of a very long recovery journey. I’d ask everyone to stay safe and to apply common sense to their activities, respecting the social distancing requirements and staying at home wherever possible to protect one another.”

The social distancing guidelines, asking everyone to observe a two meter minimum distance between themselves and others, remains in place, and those who are able to work from home are being urged to continue doing so wherever possible. Individuals acting responsibly will play a key part in keeping the infection rate down and protecting others.

As changes to the government guidelines are implemented the NRF has launched the Protect Norfolk campaign to urge everyone to continue to do their bit to stop the spread of Covid 19, asking all of us to:

Keep staying at home as much as possible
Keep contact with others to a minimum
Keep safe when outside
Keep our hands and faces clean
Keep self-isolating if anyone in our household has symptoms
Keep travelling safely
Keep shielding ourselves if we need to
Keep exercising and enjoying outside space safely

These simple steps will help us all protect ourselves and protect Norfolk.

Dr Frankie Swords, Medical Director at QEH, said: “I know it’s difficult for so many of us not being able to see friends and family or to go out as much as we would like, but it is important that we maintain our guard against COVID-19. Even though we are beyond the first peak and cases are reducing, the virus will be with us for some time yet and we all need to play our part in protecting each other and the NHS.

Please carry on doing what you have been doing so well for the past seven weeks, it has made a huge difference and saved lives. Please keep washing your hands and social distancing. Please stay at home and self-isolate if you have symptoms that could be Covid.

The more contact we have with each other, and the closer that contact is, the greater the chance that COVID-19 infections will start to rise again and we may be heading for more deaths, more hospital admissions and another lockdown.”

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council and Chair of the Norfolk Leaders Group, said: “With new guidance from the government coming into effect, it’s important we all remember that this is nowhere near a return to normal – certainly not yet. We still have vulnerable people in our communities and we all still need to keep taking sensible precautions. I’d like to thank everyone in Norfolk for the real determination they have shown to stop the spread of this virus so far. It’s vital that we all keep thinking about our behaviour and keep observing social distancing so we can protect ourselves, protect the most vulnerable and protect Norfolk as a whole.”

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