Following the continued efforts of everyone in Dorset and BCP, and everyone across the country, as well as the remarkable success of our vaccine rollout, the Prime Minister has announced that we will be moving to Step 2 of our Roadmap Out of Lockdown on time as planned (Monday 12 April).
At the time of writing, over 31 million vaccines have been administered to over 31.6 million people across the UK. We have now vaccinated 3 in 5 adults across our United Kingdom and more than 50 per cent of those over 80 have received their second jab. Here in the Dorset Healthcare area over 68% of adults have had their first dose, which is an incredible achievement, and puts us at the top in the country of first doses.
Moreover, over 5.4 million people in the UK have received their second dose, meaning those most vulnerable to the virus now have the best possible protection. The achievements of this nation, volunteers and our brilliant NHS workers in mobilising to carry out the successes of the vaccine rollout has been inspiring, and we can now continue cautiously but irreversibly through to the next stages of our easing of lockdown.
As of Monday 12 April, we will move to Step 2 of the roadmap. This means the return of:
- Outdoor hospitality venues, including beer gardens, with table service only for premises that serve alcohol.
- Non-essential retail.
- Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons.
- Public buildings such as libraries and community centres.
- Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts).
- Indoor leisure and sports facilities for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble.
- Smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds.
- Self-contained accommodation for overnight stays in England with your household and/or support bubble.
- All childcare and supervised activities indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number).
- Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, and wakes and other commemorative events for up to 15 people, including in indoor public venues that are permitted to open (either in full, or where an exemption enables them to do so for these events). Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens.
We are also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two – to allow residents to see more of their loved ones.
This is of course welcome news to all of us. However, we must continue to be vigilant, as we are sadly seeing a third wave of the coronavirus sweeping across many countries around the world, including Continental Europe. It is therefore extremely important that we all continue to follow the current rules and remember to practice Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.