Following confirmation that national restrictions will start to slowly lift next month, and schools begin their wider re-opening on 8th March, Councillor Dave Stewart has thanked Islanders for playing their part in bringing the virus under control.
However, with the virus still circulating in the community, he is urging Islanders to keep doing the right thing in staying at home and following the rules around hands, face, space.
Cllr Stewart has said:
“While Monday’s announcement was a long-awaited boost for the country, it’s clear coronavirus is still going to affect our lives for some time.
“While the lifting of restrictions brings with it a sense of relief, it should also bring a sense of personal responsibility.
“Moving too fast out of restrictions could set us all back; we all need to keep doing the right thing so we can move through to step two. The virus is still circulating in our communities and we must all do our bit to manage the risks, to slow the spread and to help keep the Island safe.
“As a council we will do all that we can to support our community and businesses through the delivery of the government roadmap.
“We will closely monitor reported levels of COVID-19 and take any actions necessary to prevent or manage local outbreaks before they spread more widely.
“Our focus is now on a safe reopening of the economy and rebuilding confidence within the community, while maintaining momentum with vaccinations and testing; being vigilant against new variants and ensuring COVID-secure environments continue.”
As case rates continue to fall across the Island, Councillor Stewart has said the provision of free rapid community testing for those without symptoms will continue to play an important role as lockdown restrictions were eased. He has urged everyone who has to be out in the community for essential reasons to get tested regularly to stop the spread of the virus, even if it does mean self-isolating if displaying no symptoms but testing positive.
“We must all continue to adhere to the guidelines to stay at home until 29 March, and follow the mantra of hands, face, space, in order to reduce the number of cases on the Island further.
“Islanders have done a really good job so far, and we are being helped by the vaccine programme and by further testing – but please do not let your guard down.
“As we look ahead to a more positive future, let’s also remember those who have suffered from COVID-19 and sadly those who have lost loved ones to the virus.
“Our future is before us – so let’s prepare for it in a safe and steady way.”
For further information on COVID-19, visit https://keeptheislandsafe.org/.