The legal requirement for wearing face masks and social distancing is being lifted from Monday (19 July) after the Government confirmed the final step in its roadmap out of lockdown.
The onus is now on us as individuals to make decisions on how to protect ourselves and our community.
Everyone in North Somerset has worked hard to keep Covid rates low so we don’t want that to be in vain.
Even if you’re itching for things to get back to normal, we risk another disappointment if things don’t go according to plan.
Case numbers are still rising across England, including in North Somerset, in part thanks to the more transmissible Delta variant.
This means people will still catch the virus and some will suffer serious ill health and even lose their life.
While we can’t control how other people act, we can take responsibility for our own actions.
The summer holidays are about to begin so let’s work together to ensure those get-togethers, outings, trips or holidays can still take place safely.
If you’re meeting up with other people, suggest everyone takes a rapid test beforehand to put everyone’s mind at ease. Tests are free and everyone can take them twice a week.
North Somerset has beautiful beaches and open spaces, so why not suggest a picnic in a park?
If you are going out for dinner, enjoy al fresco dining if the weather is suitable.
Remember too, to be kind and respectful to each other. We’re all in the same storm but we’re not in the same boat.
Everyone’s experience of the pandemic will be different – some will be overjoyed at restrictions being lifted while others will be anxious.
If you’re worried, you don’t have to jump straight in if you’re not ready.
Take baby steps while you regain your confidence, to help you get in the correct mindset.
Vaccinations continue to provide the best protection against coronavirus so get yours as soon as you can.
Even if you’ve had both doses, taking extra precautions will help keep your risk of infection as low as possible.
This means keep washing your hands, wearing a face covering when you are inside and close to others, making space, and socialising outside.