Simon Bryant, Director for Public Health at Hampshire County Council and spokesperson for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum, said:
“We know that people are avidly waiting for Saturday to arrive when many more businesses are due to open up including pubs, restaurants and many leisure facilities. Everyone wants to have fun, but it’s really important that we stick to the guidance. The virus is still with us, and unless we follow the advice, we risk a damaging second wave and a potential return to the type of restrictions none of want to see – and once again potentially distanced from our family, friends and loved ones.
"Let’s also not forget that potentially a significant proportion of people with coronavirus have no symptoms, but can transmit the virus to others – so think, before you mingle. If you don’t do it for yourself, please consider the many thousands of local people across our area who are vulnerable - for them, the virus could still be fatal. Let’s work together to keep Hampshire safe this summer.”
To enjoy this summer safely:
- Stay two metres apart from others. If this isn’t possible, it’s one metre plus – which also requires something extra to be in place such as a screen or face-covering
- Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms
- Wear a face covering on public transport or in enclosed spaces
- Wash your hands often and as soon as you get home.
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton from Hampshire Constabulary said:
“We have been preparing in anticipation for this busier period and we have patrol plans in place this weekend to ensure the easing of restrictions is approached safely. Social distancing and good hygiene remain paramount and it’s everyone’s responsibility to follow this guidance.
“In the run-up and over the course of the weekend we, alongside Local Authorities, will be working closely with the licensing industry across all areas of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to help prevent a second spike of the virus.
“If you are visiting bars and pubs this weekend, please drink sensibly, and pre-plan your travel and how you are going to get home. Reassess your plans if you arrive at your location and realise social distancing isn’t achievable. Be aware of how excess drinking and violent behaviour may impact the emergency services and the NHS. COVID-19 still presents a significant and deadly threat to public health.
“Ultimately, we are still all in this together so it’s important that we all continue to limit the spread of the virus, whilst enjoying the summer.
“Officers continue to work hard to keep us all safe in what remain challenging circumstances so we would ask everyone to work with us and remember that if you need our help we are here for you.”