Bristol’s approach to managing the next phase of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been set out in a revised version of the COVID-19 Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP).
The plan outlines ways that Bristol, in partnership with communities, local partners, National NHS Test and Trace, Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England with the new Institute for Health Security, will take action to prevent and contain COVID-19 over the coming year.
Christina Gray, Director for Communities and Public Health said: “The impact of over twelve months of national lockdowns and challenging restrictions on our businesses, mental health and daily lifestyles cannot be understated. The refresh of this plan comes at a really pivotal time as we take the next slow and cautious step to easing COVID-19 restrictions in the city. This plan is not only a reminder of all the important systems we’ve put in place to get here, but that there is still a lot to be done to get back to the things we love.”
The new Local Outbreak Management Plan covers seven key themes; outbreak prevention and response, test, trace and isolate, communication and engagement, data, recovery, protection and enforcement.
Within those themes, there is further detail about processes for containing and managing outbreaks of the virus, learnings from the past year, best practice and important issues such as inequalities, accessibility and supporting vulnerable groups.
Ms Gray said: “I’m extremely pleased to say that now over 160,000 people in Bristol (approximately 39% of all eligible residents) have had one or two doses of a life-saving vaccine and more people are booking theirs in every day. However, COVID-19 is not going away overnight, and our refreshed plan outlines the different areas such as testing, supporting isolation and managing changes in the virus such as Variants of Concern that will become increasingly more important over the coming six to twelve months.”
The public are also being reminded of the importance of following the guidance and taking the next step in the Government’s roadmap to easing national restrictions cautiously and carefully.
Ms Gray said: “By continuing to limit our social contact, washing our hands and keeping distance from others, together we can make sure this is the final time we ease national lockdown restrictions. It’s down to us as a city, but also as individuals, to follow the public health guidance and not take risks that could undo all the great work we’ve done to drive down infection rates.”
To protect Bristol, we must take these steps together:
- Keep your distance from anyone you do not live with or have a support bubble with
- Keep inside environments well ventilated at all times
- Wear a face covering when you are out and about – for example when shopping for food or on public transport
- Do not meet indoors to socialise with anyone you do not live with or have a support bubble with
- Wash your hands with soap and water often
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
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.
You can read the revised Local Outbreak Management Plan on the Bristol City Council website now.