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What the Latest Easing in Restrictions Means for You (COVID Update – 21 May)

With the further easing in restrictions this week, please remember to keep following all the latest guidelines – please see the GOV.UK website, and remember, hands, face, space, fresh air.

Lockdown latest

From Monday (17 May), you can now socialise indoors in a group of up to 6 people or 2 households, including for overnight stays. Up to 30 people can meet outside. Pubs, theatres and other venues can open indoors. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open for people on holiday.  For more information, please see government guidance.

17 May: what’s changed:

You should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance. You should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible)
  • New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family
  • Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place
  • People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events is capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen
  • Organised indoor sport can take place for all. This includes gym classes. It must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission
  • All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible)
  • Funeral attendance is no longer limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events have been increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people
  • The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19
  • All higher education students are able to access in-person teaching
  • Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)
  • There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.

For the latest information, and further guidance on steps to stay safe, please see the GOV.UK website.

Vaccination update

More than one million first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been given across Kent and Medway. In their latest update, Kent and Medway CCG say the milestone is another important step in the fight against coronavirus and a huge achievement for the many teams who are working on the vaccination programme.

The Covid-19 vaccine is being offered at local vaccination centres run by GPs, at large vaccination centres, in some pharmacies and some hospitals. For the latest local details, please see the CCG website.

The vaccine is currently being given to people who:

  • Are aged 34 or over
  • Will turn 34 before 1 July 2021
  • Are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • Are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • Have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • Have a learning disability
  • Are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus.

If you are not eligible yet, please wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.  For more details on vaccinations, please see the NHS website.

Keep up-to-date

During the pandemic, we’re keeping all our social media channels updated with the latest news and advice, so please keep following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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