Community Connectors 25 February 2020
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Prime Minister sets out roadmap for easing Coronavirus restrictions

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On Monday (22 February), the Prime Minister set out a roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England.
This roadmap sets out how the Government will begin to lift restrictions in England from 8 March, starting with schools and colleges.
It outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against the following four tests:
  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  4. The Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
The four steps for easing restrictions are:
  • Step 1 – the priority is to ensure that all children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges from 8 March.
  • Step 2 – which will be no earlier than 12 April, will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres.
  • Step 3 – which will be no earlier than 17 May, the Government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.
  • Step 4 – which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. Before Step 4 begins, the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.
The roadmap also confirms the Community Testing Programme is being extended until at least the end of June.
Find out more about the plans for easing Coronavirus restrictions.

Keeping on the road to recovery

The Coronavirus roadmap will be relief to us all. After more than a year of various restrictions, we can clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, for the roadmap to succeed, we must continue to stick to the rules around social distancing. And that’s where you can help!
Public Health England has excellent publicity materials on its website that you can share with your contacts to help reinforce the safety messages.
You can expect the material to change as we move through the steps. But for now, we’re still in a national lockdown and we should continue to stay at home.
Download the materials on the Public Health England website to share with your contacts.

Coronavirus home testing kits now easier to order

The Government announced last week (18 February) that it has introduced a number of new accessibility improvements to the home testing programme to make it easier to get tested. The improvements include:
  • People who do not have access to the internet can now order home testing kits over the phone by calling 119, without needing an email address or any other digital requirement
  • A new NHS Test and Trace partnership with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve the home testing service for people with visual impairments
  • A new video-call support service with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff that will assist people with vision impairments to test at home
Find out more about ordering home testing kits

Looking after your mental health

The pressures of lockdown will affect everyone differently but for those who are struggling, there is help available.
Every Mind Matters’ has expert advice and practical tips to help everyone look after their mental health and wellbeing during this difficult time.
Whether it’s coping with loneliness, money worries or just general anxieties, Every Mind Matters encourages people to reach out for support. They also have tips for self-help and advice for parents.
Download Every Mind Matters resources to share with your contacts.


Asymptomatic testing

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.
If you leave the house for work or essential activities, it is important to book regular symptom-free Covid tests.
These tests will help to find people who don’t currently have symptoms and who may be unknowingly spreading the virus in the community.
You can book an appointment for the following locations:

  • Bat and Ball Centre, Cramptons Road, Sevenoaks TN14 5DN
  • Swanley Youth Club, St Mary's Road BR8 7BU

Latest local COVID-19 data

The latest NHS Kent and Medway CCG data published today says 534,820 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been given to residents in Kent and Medway.

The latest data we have from the Government and Public Health England is dated 11 February; Covid-19 rates are continuing to fall in most districts of Kent and Medway. 

The case rate in the Sevenoaks District to 18 February 2021 was 59.6, down from 69.6 per 100,000 on 11 February. The current case rate in Sevenoaks District remains at just under half that of the England rate, at 122.4 per 100,000.
There are currently 108 active cases in the District,  a drop from 142 recorded previously. These are associated with clusters in residential dwellings.

View the latest national COVID-19 data.

Go social for the very latest news

We update our social media feeds on a daily basis with the very latest on COVID-19.
We would encourage you to follow our accounts on Facebook and Twitter and share any posts with your contacts that you think may be useful.
Our Facebook handle is Sevenoaks District Council Official and our Twitter handle is @sdc_newsdesk.
And, if there’s anything you think we should share with our followers, don’t forgot to include our social media handles in your posts!

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