A statement from Bristol’s Local Engagement Board: OneStep (c) Bristol Design 2021

29 Mar 2021

A statement from Bristol’s Local Engagement Board

Bristol takes its next cautious step to easing restrictions

On behalf of Bristol’s Local Engagement Board, city leaders have come together to share a message of caution as the city continues to ease lockdown restrictions.

As of today (Monday 29 March), people can meet outdoors in a group of either six people (Rule of Six) or as two households.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen. People can once again take part in formally organised outdoors sports.

People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise journeys where possible.

Director for Public Health Christina Gray said: “This next cautious step in getting back to what we love has only been made possible thanks to everyone’s efforts to follow the guidance and protect one another. Evidence has shown that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors, and taking this unlocking one step at a time, slowly and cautiously, is our best chance for making this the last time we go through this process.

“You will be aware of the situation in Europe at the moment, where countries are seeing high rates of infection along with new variants of concern and are having to slow the pace of easing restrictions. This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still circulating and is still dangerous. We are at a point where we can begin to get out of doors and to resume some normal activities, however the situation is fragile and we must proceed with caution.”

Oona Goldsworthy, CEO of Brunelcare said: “I can’t emphasise just how important it has been for care home residents and staff for loved ones to be able to visit regularly. The Government’s first step of the roadmap to easing restrictions allowed residents and loved ones this all-important lifeline during such a challenging year. There have been some really touching moments as families and friends have been reunited.

“I want to thank everyone who continues to do the most they can to bring us safely out of national COVID-19 restrictions. For our most vulnerable, their loved ones and our communities we must keep going so this lifeline isn’t once again taken away. We must take this unlocking one step at a time and not get ahead of ourselves too quickly.”

Dr Huzaifa Adamali, Local Engagement Board member and a respiratory consultant at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), said: “Our hospitals in Bristol are starting to see less patients coming in with severe illness, which is a very promising sign that the hard work we’re putting into protecting one another is paying off. However, now is not the time to become complacent.

“This next step in our journey to recovery will open up a lot of freedoms for many that will help with their mental and emotional health; allowing families, friends and loved ones more opportunities to meet safely outdoors. However, we must proceed with caution. We must not throw away all the hard work we’ve put in to reduce transmission, protect the NHS and save lives. This means remembering those really important principles; Hands, Face, Space, Isolate.”

For further advice and guidance on COVID-19, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk

For information about regular rapid testing, visit our online guide: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/coronavirus/guide-to-rapid-testing

For business support, visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-support-advice/covid-19-information-for-businesses

Support is on offer through the We Are Bristol helpline for anyone who needs emergency assistance getting food, medicines or guidance about financial support to self-isolate. Call 0800 694 0184 for free if you need help.