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Residents urged to follow key advice as lockdown measures are eased

Residents and Businesses across Staffordshire are being urged to stick to key advice and stay alert after the Prime Minister set out a new Coronavirus roadmap for the country.

A new mantra Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives is now backed up with five stages of alert for the country ranging from One (Green) to Five (Red). Britain is currently in Stage Four.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said it was important that people continued to safeguard themselves, their families and their communities if we are to avoid a second peak in the pandemic in the UK.

In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out some high level proposals and said the alert level and measures would be reviewed regularly. More details will be shared in Parliament on Monday and questions addressed in this evening’s press conference.

The key points:

  • People should: Sill stay at home as much as possible, work from home if they can, follow the 2m social distancing rule, limit social contact, wash their hands regularly, self-isolate if they or a member of their household shows symptoms.
  • Those who can’t work from home are being actively encouraged to return to work from tomorrow, but not by public transport
  • People can exercise more than once a day and play sport – but only with own households
  • From June 1 some shops and primary schools may reopen
  • From July at the earliest some hospitality venues may reopen

The county council will now work with residents, businesses, partners and staff to align the roadmap with its own recovery planning once more detailed information is available.

Philip Atkins said: “From the outset, we have said we will do everything it takes to saves lives, protect the most vulnerable and support our frontline care workers here in Staffordshire and our communities have been amazing in helping us do this.

“As a county council, we have recognised the need to restart our economy with the launch of our Back to Business campaign and we have been planning for how this council will support the county to recover for several weeks.

“It is hugely important for businesses to open their doors, people to get back to work and education and communities and services to rebuild, but this has to be when it is safe to do so and at the right pace.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will all be treading a very fine line as we gradually reopen this county and this country. This is absolutely not a green light for everyone and everything to go back to as we were before the pandemic.

“The challenge now is to build on what we have done so far. This means keep washing your hands regularly, social distancing and working from home if you can, so we continue to do everything we can to avoid a second and potentially more deadly peak in cases.”

Since the start of the pandemic the county council has seen its £38m Coronavirus battle fund help:

  • Provide an extra £13.6m for care homes and providers to help cover staff absence, costs of care packages and buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)for staff on the frontline
  • Deliver more than 400,000 items of PPE
  • Create a £500,000 fund to provide grants to micro-businesses across Staffordshire
  • Deliver more than 1,000 food parcels to the most vulnerable self-isolators
  • Launch the I Count campaign to allow council employees to switch roles to support the coronavirus efforts
  • Launch the I Care campaign to bolster frontline care in people’s homes – almost 200 people have now been trained
  • Offer extra support to care leavers and foster carers
  • Provide support to nursery care/childminders to stay open for key workers
  • Put arrangements in place to pay suppliers promptly and in some cases in advance to assist the local economy

Philip added: The challenges and the risk remains huge, but just as we have done in the last few weeks, we will get through this together and rebuild a vibrant county with a flourishing economy for us all once again to benefit from and share in.”

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