RESTRICTIONS on outdoor mixing will start to be eased across England from Monday (29 March), as the country takes its next careful step towards leaving lockdown.
From Monday, six people, or two households, will be able to meet outdoors and in private gardens, allowing families and friends to see each other once again, while respecting social distancing guidance.
Outdoor activities, such as tennis and golf, can resume – and formally-organised outdoor sports, such as grassroots football, can get under way again too.
The city council’s golf course at Humberstone Heights will reopen at 8am on Monday, with outdoor gyms, tennis courts and 3G pitches reopening too.
But with coronavirus rates in Leicester still higher than the national average, people in the city are reminded to stay vigilant and continue to follow social distancing guidance – and to keep working from home, if they can.
“The gradual easing of restrictions on outdoor mixing will be a real boost for people’s mental health, as families and friends are allowed to meet up again in private gardens, but we do need to exercise caution,” said Leicester’s director of public health, Professor Ivan Browne.
“Having come so far, and sacrificed so much, we don’t want to undo all the good work by breaking the rules and allowing coronavirus to surge again.
“Enjoy meeting your friends and families in the garden, remembering that people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other, but please don’t be tempted to invite people indoors. Coronavirus spreads easily in enclosed spaces, so mixing indoors with people you don’t live with is still not permitted – unless they’re in your support bubble.
“And remember that even if you’ve been vaccinated, you must continue to follow the hands-face-space rules.
“The vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s the best way we’ve got to beat the pandemic. If you haven’t had your vaccination yet, I would urge you to have it as soon as it’s offered to you.”
From Monday, people are no longer legally required to stay at home, but people should continue to minimise travel and should not be staying away from home overnight.
While it is still not possible to meet people from other households indoors, parent and child groups can take place outdoors from Monday with a limit of 15 attendees – with children under five not counting towards the attendee limit.
More information about the Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions can be found here
To help keep coronavirus out of the city’s schools and colleges, those with nursery or school-aged children at home are encouraged to take a Covid test twice a week.
With one in three people with coronavirus showing no symptoms, regular testing is the best way to identify those who may be spreading the virus without realising it.
Anyone can pop in to one of Leicester’s six rapid testing centres twice a week, as long as they have no symptoms. Free rapid tests are available seven days a week at the Adult Education College, Coleman Neighbourhood Centre, Eyres Monsell Community Centre, Fosse Neighbourhood Centre, Hamilton Library and the Tudor Centre.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home and call 119 to book a test. If you have symptoms, or you test positive, you and everyone you live with must stay at home for 10 days.
Latest figures for Leicester show an infection rate of 111.8 per 100,000*, which compares with a national average of 55.3 per 100,000.
With infection rates still high, everyone in the city should continue to:
- wear a face covering when required
- wash or sanitise their hands frequently
- follow social distancing rules
- work from home, if possible
- refrain from visiting anyone else’s home, unless they’re in a support bubble with them
- walk or cycle if possible – and avoid travelling on buses at peak times if possible
- (From Monday) follow the Rule of Six: that’s six people, or two households, outdoors
- stay at home and get a test at the first sign of coronavirus by calling 119
More information is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus
More information about the reopening of sports facilities in Leicester is available here
*Leicester: Number of positive tests per 100,000 people in the seven days to 20 March 2021: 111.8 per 100,000