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Statement from Bristol COVID-19 Local Engagement Board, Health Protection Advisory Committee, Health and Wellbeing Board and One City Partners

Statement from Bristol COVID-19 Local Engagement Board, Health Protection Advisory Committee, Health and Wellbeing Board and One City Partners

11 March 2022

On Monday 21 February the Prime Minister announced the national strategy for living with COVID-19.

This signals a significant change to the way the government will monitor and manage the coronavirus pandemic in England.

We are moving away from having legally mandated restrictions in place, to a situation that relies on individuals taking personal responsibility to protect themselves and others.

The removal of the restrictions that we have been used to over the past two years will inevitably result in some increase in levels of infection. However, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, the introduction of a range of new treatments and the actions of individuals, the government is confident we are in a position to begin to live with COVID-19.

COVID-19 has not gone away, large parts of the world remain unvaccinated and the future is uncertain. We need to continue to do what we can to reduce the spread of the virus and remain prepared for outbreaks and the emergence of new variants.

Keeping Bristol safe and open for business remains a priority as we plan for this next phase of the pandemic. We have today published our Bristol ‘Living Safely with COVID-19’ Framework, which sets out our plans to prevent, protect, treat and respond to the virus over the coming year.

Without testing, it becomes even more important that people do not mix with others if they are unwell. This will be challenging for some individuals and families without the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, and so we ask employers to consider how they can support their staff to avoid spreading infection in the workplace.

Some settings, such as health and care, will continue with extra infection control measures for COVID-19 and other infections. Education and childcare settings will continue to focus on providing education safely, working with children, students, families, and staff to protect those most at risk.

We recognise that, for many people, these changes are very welcome. However, some people will feel anxious and more at risk. As we move together into this next phase, there are many simple actions we can all take, to help protect each other. These include:

  • getting our vaccinations
  • good hand hygiene
  • wearing a face covering in busy and enclosed areas, such as inside shops and on public transport
  • keeping indoor spaces well ventilated
  • if unwell, avoiding contact with others

Small actions can make a big difference, so thank you for everything you continue to do to protect Bristol. Not because you have to, but because you care. #WeAreBristol

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