BURY'S health leaders have urged residents and businesses to proceed cautiously when the final Covid restrictions are lifted on Monday, July 19.

They say that living with Covid is not the same as letting it rip, and are encouraging everyone to continue to doing whatever they can to stop to the continuing spread of coronavirus.

Lesley Jones, Bury’s director of public health, said: “All of us can’t wait for life to return to normal, and Monday’s removal of the final lockdown measures might make it seem like that.

“But Covid isn’t going anywhere right now. The infection rate in Bury, and across the land, is still far too high, and we don’t know how much pressure this is going to put on the NHS or how many people will become seriously ill with the virus.”

“While it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face masks or maintain social distancing, we are calling on Bury people to do the following: keep washing your hands regularly, take part in ‘track and trace’, and self-isolate if you test positive. Also, meet outdoors when you can, and continue to wear face coverings in high-risk settings such as public transport, shops and health centres.

“I also want to thank everyone for their efforts so far to keep the virus under control and urge them to remain cautious to protect themselves and others.

“The vaccination programme has been a huge success – more than 100,000 people in Bury have now had both doses of the vaccine.

“But we need to keep it up: thousands of people, particularly young people, have not had their jabs yet. We urge them to go along to one of our many walk-in clinics and get vaccinated – and remember to return for your second dose in order to get the full protection.

“We don’t want our health services to be still struggling with this as we head into the autumn and winter, when they traditionally come under more pressure with flu and other respiratory diseases.”

She added: “All organisations should feel confident to take measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading in their settings that go beyond the minimum that is required by the Government, such as asking staff and customers to carry on wearing face coverings or to observe social distancing.

“The council’s infection control and environmental health staff are available to advise on risk assessments and measures to reduce health risks.”

Details of Bury’s vaccination clinics are here: https://www.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15987