April 5 2021 – Step 2

“Thank you for your patience and tolerance, as a net result of our efforts we can move to step 2 on April 12th.” The words of Boris Johnson at tonight’s briefing. He confirmed that all is going well on our pathway out of lockdown. We are on course or on track. He remined us that we cannot afford to be complacent as we can see what is happening in other countries.

What was actually said came as no surprise as it has already been widely leaked in the way that has become almost normal. The 4 tests have all been met so the reduction of some more restrictions can go ahead in England. In Scotland many of the relaxations began today. These include the opening of barbers and hairdressers by appointment only. The opening of many more shops, bars, pubs and restaurants providing food and drink outside only. Gyms can open as well.

Care Home residents can now have up to 2 visitors at a time indoors. In addition, children of the two visitors can be included in the visit. All the normal precautions must be in place so that children and grandparents can be reunited.

In another development any one in England can now have up to two free rapid flow Covid tests for anyone who wants one. You can attend a testing centre and collect them in person or request them online with delivery to your home. As one in three people have no symptoms it makes sense now to look even further to find positive people who do not realise they are. This is free to all UK residents. So if you are suspicious you could have the virus, or are just curious, go and get a test.

It remains vital that we keep new variants of Covid away from the British Isles. It means that nothing can be relaxed yet about travel and there needs to be every effort to keep our borders free. Holidays abroad are still not allowed. I was concerned to learn that 8,000 visitors enter the UK every day. This is causing enormous problems for our border force Many of the so called essential visits were holidays in disguise. One man arriving in the UK from Peru when asked the reason for his visit is alleged to have said ‘to see Big Ben.’

We need to vigorously enforce our rules about red list countries and hotel based supervised quarantine.

A quick look around, France is under tremendous pressure particularly their hospitals. They have over 5,300 patients in ITU beds, that’s 10 times more than us now. This is despite a strict night time curfew. There are also embarrassing allegations about clandestine dinner parties during lockdown in closed restaurants being attended by Government Ministers. There are on-going investigations but I am sure if proved there will be a lot of repercussions.

In India the daily case rate is over 100,000.The small community of Haiti has a population of 11 million. They have no vaccine in the country yet, there were plans for 756,000 doses of the OAZ vaccine to be delivered free via the United Nations. There were delays in the paperwork and the vaccine was reallocated. It is now not clear when the vaccines will arrive.

There is very limited data tonight due to the holiday. It will be Wednesday before we have a better idea of the figures. There were 2,762 positive tests found yesterday. And 26 deaths were reported.

With Vaccinations there were 5.43 million 2nd doses given to back up the 31.58 million 1st doses.

Make absolutely sure you go for both your immunisations when you are called. Be sure to rearrange it if the appointments are not suitable.

Do not forget to use your free Covid tests if even the slightest bit concerned.

Do not even dream of getting abroad yet. Reconsider the circumstances in about 3 months.

Enjoy the few new freedoms we have but please do not push the boundaries.

Stay safe, be vigilant, do not stray from the path to recovery.

Remember the value of fresh air and staying apart at all times.

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