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"Covid is still here," says Sheffield's health chief as Plan B restrictions are lifted

"I’d like to think that people will continue to respect each other," says Director of Public Health Greg Fell, as face coverings and venue certifications no longer mandatory.

Greg fell taken by e taylor sept 2020

Greg Fell, Sheffield's Director of Public Health.

E Taylor

Sheffield's Director of Public Health has encouraged residents to stay mindful of coronavirus, as central government lifted many legal restrictions, saying the virus "is still here amongst us and will be for a long time."

Greg Fell made the comments the day after 'Plan B' coronavirus measures were lifted, meaning that face coverings aren't required by law and Covid certification isn't mandatory for venues. The government has not been asking people to work from home since 19 January.

Ask what message he would send to people in Sheffield, Fell told Now Then: "As we move into more normal times and face coverings are no longer compulsory, life will feel a little different for all of us.

"People can still choose to wear face masks if they want to, especially in risky settings indoors and in crowded spaces. I’d like to think that people will continue to respect each other, to keep their distance if they can see that someone else wants that distance and to keep rooms and indoor venues well ventilated.

"For added protection, get a Covid booster dose and have your first or second vaccination if you haven’t already. The hand washing that we’ve been doing has made a big difference and still will, so please carry on doing that regardless.

"Covid is still here amongst us and will be for a long time. We all know what to do to protect ourselves as much as we can now, don’t we?”

Although many restrictions have been lifted, a government press release issued yesterday states that "local directors of public health are still able to recommend face coverings in communal areas only in education settings within their area, but only where the department and public health experts judge the measures to be proportionate – this is a temporary measure."

In his weekly video statement, released on Monday (24 January), Fell noted that although infection rates in Sheffield were "beginning to flatline," they were settling at a "cruising altitude" of 1,000 per 100,000 - meaning that 1% of the population was testing positive on any given week.

by Sam Walby (he/him)
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