Lancaster City Council is asking residents and businesses to remain cautious following the move to step 4 in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and the relaxing of Covid restrictions.
From today (Monday July 19) all businesses can open and trade and there is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings or maintain social distance.
However, with the number of new confirmed cases of Covid continuing to rise, fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the council is urging people to exercise caution, remain vigilant, and act responsibly.
Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The easing of restrictions has been a long time coming and we all want to move on with our lives and put Covid behind us.
“But the reality is that the virus will be around for a long time to come and the worst thing we could do is allow ourselves to become complacent and let down our guard.
“By being cautious now and stepping away from the restrictions carefully, we can help to avoid a potential round of further lockdowns and even more stringent restrictions.
“To do so means protecting ourselves and respecting others, particularly those who are anxious about the lifting of restrictions and may wish to continue wearing a face covering.
“The recommendation from the Government is that we should all continue to take preventative actions such as sanitising our hands, wearing a face covering in crowded areas and public transport. If you are meeting friends or relatives, please try to do so outside in the fresh air.
“Above all, I would urge people to take up the offer of a vaccination and make sure they get both jabs, as this will provide the best route out of the pandemic.”
To aid the transition out of lockdown restrictions, the city council is also urging businesses to consider keeping some of the measures that they have introduced.
This follows a recent survey conducted by the council, which found that a majority of those taking part would like to see some measures continuing.
Of the 372 who responded, 293 (78%) said they wanted hand sanitizer to be available at the entrance of retail premises, and 276 (74%) said they would like customers to wear face coverings.
For pubs, cafes and restaurants, 234 (64%) respondents wanted to see table service kept and 249 (68%) supported staff continuing to wear face coverings.
The results of the survey will be provided to businesses so they can decide which, if any, measures they decide to maintain.
Support is also on offer to both residents and businesses that have been affected by Covid-19 and can provide advice for anyone who is struggling financially or has had to self-isolate. It can be contacted by telephoning 01524 582000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses can contact the council’s Business Support Hub for help, advice and access to grants by emailing email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how to trade safely.