As half-term approaches next week, families are being reminded not to visit or mix with other households in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
We know that after a tough year, many children will want to go out and see their friends during the holidays. However, staying at home as much as possible remains the best way to protect loved ones and vulnerable people, as it will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus in Warrington.
Remember the basics of washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering if needed and keeping your distance from others when outdoors – as this reduces the risk of spreading the virus. Sticking to the rules (even if you are vaccinated) means you continue to protect others, protect the NHS and help to stop the virus from spreading.
Around 1 in 3 people who get infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms and so can unknowingly pass on the virus. If parents still need to leave home to work during half-term, they should continue to get a regular symptom-free test at the Halliwell Jones Stadium or Grappenhall Cricket Club. For more information, including opening times, visit: https://www.warrington.gov.uk/asymptomatic-community-testing-sites. If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a ‘childcare bubble’. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.
The council is asking once again that during the school holidays, parents make sure that their children are staying at home wherever possible and not meeting their friends outdoors. In the previous school holidays, there were instances of parents hosting birthday parties and sleepovers for their children, which is breaking the law.
Cllr Matt Smith, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Understandably children will want to be outdoors after being mostly home schooled, but it’s important that you only go outdoors for essential reasons like daily exercise, and keep 2m apart when doing so. You might be in a school bubble with friends at school if parents or carers are key workers, but this doesn’t mean you can mix with people outside your home.
“I’m grateful to our education workforce across the town who are working so hard to keep children safe if they are attending school. We can’t let this hard work go to waste by allowing children to mix outside of the school setting.”
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “We must resist the urge to meet with people outside of your bubble this half-term. Coronavirus cases are starting to fall in Warrington, and this is due to more vaccinations and people following the rules that are in place.
“However it’s more important than ever to keep following these rules to ensure the number of cases keep falling. If you start to neglect this rules, there is no doubt that COVID-19 cases will increase and these restrictions will be in place for longer. The rules in place are tough, especially at times like school holidays, but by making sure we stick to the rules we are protecting everyone in Warrington.”
If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus (including a high temperature, a persistent cough and a loss of smell or taste), no matter how mild, you must self-isolate immediately and book an NHS test. If you or anyone in your household starts to develop any coronavirus symptoms, your whole household should self-isolate immediately. You can book a test at NHS test at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 if you do not have internet access.