A message from Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Wellbeing, Public Health and Communities for Essex County Council

Content originally from Essex Coronovirus Action

As I’m sure you are aware, this coming Saturday, restrictions will ease for the county and for the rest of England, except for Leicester.

Unfortunately, Leicester has seen a significant rise in cases in the last few days and is therefore not able to participate in the restrictions easing at this time.

As the Director of Wellbeing, Public Health and Communities for Essex County Council it is my responsibility to ensure that the residents of Essex have all the information that you need to make sure that we continue to bring the transmission rate down across the county.

While restrictions will ease for Essex this weekend, that does not mean that we are now safe. Evidence has shown us that remaining 2m apart is best for social distancing and is our best defence against the virus.

If you keep more than 2m apart from someone you will not infect them if you have the virus, nor will you be considered a contact and have to isolate if they are the one carrying the infection.

This is not the case for distancing between 1m and 2m (the new 1m+ rule). If you are between 1m to 2m with someone for more than a few minutes and they test positive then you will be considered a contact for the purposes of test and trace and will be required to isolate.

As we have managed to reduce the infection around at the moment there is less chance of any person you are in contact with being infected, but some still will be and if people do not observe social distancing the disease will come back strongly, as is being seen in the USA currently.

We have been proud of how the people of Essex have worked to support each other during the Coronavirus outbreak. The thousands of volunteers who have offered their support to their neighbours. The essential workers who have kept our healthcare and services running.

But we cannot let up yet, the virus is reducing but it isn’t gone, and in order for it to reduce to a level where life can return mostly to how it was before then we need all of you to continue working together.

I want to thank you all for the part you have played in this so far, I hope that you will continue to work to reduce the transmission rate and keep Essex safe.