‘Stay cautious’ - Health boss plea to not meet indoors ahead of rainy weekend

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Norfolk is being urged to seize the opportunity to step towards “a life close to normal” as the county’s infection rate continues to drop.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk County Council’s head of public health, stressed the importance of maintaining social distancing as people venture out more under eased lockdown measures.

But with less sunny weather predicted this weekend, she reminded people not to meet indoors.

The health boss said questions had been raised around car sharing, and said due to vehicles being a small enclosed space, people should not share cars with anyone outside of their household.

Dr Smith said: “The number of infections are still dropping, they are only going to keep dropping if we keep to the rules, the guidelines and social distancing. The risk is much lower outdoors than indoors.

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“It is really important people stick to measures and meet outdoors.

“It is a real opportunity now to get back to a more integrated social life and get back to a life close to normal, if we stay cautious.”

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She said she expected more outdoor venues and businesses which are able to implement social distancing to open, with plans on track for indoor spaces and larger public venues such as churches to open in July.

The health boss said work was under way to publish an outbreak plan by July and analyse information from the track and trace service launched last week, which will aim to reduce virus transmissions through contact tracing.

She said: “It’s up and running and we are seeing people being contacted through the contact tracing. It is early days and the numbers are just starting to come through.

“I would really encourage people to participate in contact tracing.

“We know human lives are complicated and we know people won’t know everyone if it happened in a public place, a shop, but they will still be able to give us information which reduces the number of transmissions, it is totally confidential and without judgement. It’s not about judging them its about protecting their friends and family.”

As of June 15, people using public transport will have to wear face coverings, and Dr Smith said people should use cloth coverings or a scarf.

Dr Smith said: “The advice is cloth face coverings when we are indoors or in enclosed places. You can use a scarf and we are seeing people making cloth face masks. You can just use a scarf but you need to cover your nose and your mouth and keep them covered.”

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