Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill has urged people to “be careful who you hug” ahead of lockdown restrictions easing next week.
From Monday, May 17, up to 30 people will be allowed to meet outdoors, and social distancing will be dropped between families and friends in homes or private gardens, meaning people can now legally hug each other again.
As well as this, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open indoors, after a month of only being able to serve food and drink outdoors.
During a meeting of the Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board, Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, encouraged people to get vaccinated and to consider the safety of those most vulnerable to the virus in our community.
He spoke of the need for restrictions to ease, saying now is the right time: “With Covid infection levels low and the huge success of the vaccination programme which has been a game changer, it’s the right time to ease restrictions.
“People want to see their families and friends again and the great British weather has made it difficult restricting meetings to outside so far.
“Our businesses, particularly the hospitality sector, need to be able to open up and trade more freely again and begin to claw back the losses they have had to endure over the past year.”
Cllr Hill, who recently kept his seat at Lincolnshire County Council in the 2021 local elections, did say that we must continue to be cautious, though.
“People must remember that the virus hasn’t gone away so let’s not spoil the remarkable progress we have made. Keep to the hands, face, space guidelines and make sure you have plenty of ventilation indoors.
“Think about who you hug and whether it’s sensible, particularly the most vulnerable among family and friends and people who haven’t had two doses of the vaccine.
“If we just take a few cautious steps then it’s likely we’ll continue to be in a good place and look forward to a full path out of lockdown in June.
“Do take up the offer of the vaccine when it’s your turn – it’s the best way to stay protected. And please “complete the course” and have both doses to make sure you get the best protection possible.”
The Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board consists of political representatives from Lincolnshire County Council, other district councils, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, CCG and NHS providers, Healthwatch and the Police and Crime Commissioner.