'Vital reminder' for Sunderland as other parts of northern England hit with local lockdown restrictions

Renewed lockdowns in parts of England are a ‘vital’ reminder of the need to keep following social distancing and hygiene rules, city leaders have said.

By James Harrison
Friday, 31st July 2020, 5:20 pm

Millions of families in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and west Yorkshire are facing a fresh clampdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region.

And households in Wearside have been warned not to become complacent following a rise in cases which has only recently subsided.

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Director of public health, Gillian Gibson, said the situation in the North West was a 'vital reminder' not to be complacent

Gillian Gibson, director of public health at Sunderland City Council, has urged people to stick to guidelines including staying at home as much as possible or two metres from others when out; washing hands regularly and wearing face coverings ‘where required’.

She added: “It is also worth pointing out that although the doubling of cases we’ve seen in Sunderland in recent weeks appears to have eased, we are seeing more contacts of cases linked to people visiting family and friends in their own homes than we would expect, suggesting that people in Sunderland are not always following social distancing measures when they socialise.

“While currently these are nowhere near the levels seen in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and Yorkshire, it’s really important that if you are visiting someone in their home or having someone over to visit, you don’t meet up with others if you have symptoms, you remember to socially distance, two metres if possible, one metre if not, try to sit side by side rather than facing each other and make sure that the room is well ventilated.”

The new coronavirus lockdown in parts of Yorkshire and the North West was announced late on Thursday, July 30 and came into force from midnight.

The new rules have banned people from different households from meeting in homes or private gardens.

They are also barred from mixing in pubs and restaurants – although individual households can still go out for drinks and meals.

Gibson has advised anyone heading out this weekend to meet friends and family outdoors if possible.

She added: “Remember that people who have no symptoms can still have the virus and pass it on to others, so it is important that everyone does these things.

“The guidelines are there for a reason, and no matter how inconvenient they may seem, it’s important that we all continue to follow them if we want to avoid restrictions of the likes we’ve seen elsewhere.”

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