Sunderland residents are being encouraged to take up both doses of the vaccine and continue working from home if they can, following the Government’s decision to delay further lifting restrictions for now.
In her regular video to residents, Gerry Taylor, the City Council’s Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning, said: “We had all hoped that next week would mark the fourth and final step for the easing of restrictions in England. But as the Prime Minister confirmed this week, this next phase of the Roadmap for unlocking has been paused and will be reviewed in the coming weeks.
“I know this is frustrating. But we must be guided by the data and in Sunderland – and all areas of the North East – we are now recording an increasing number of Covid transmissions within our communities. And we know that a growing number of those cases are the Delta variant which spreads more easily.
“This pause will allow more people to be vaccinated which is our best protection against the virus and we know that two doses are highly effective including against the Delta variant.
“Younger age groups, who have the highest rates of infection, will had have the benefit of one jab by July if they take up the offer. As well as providing some protection to them, this will help slow the spread of the virus.
“So for now, please continue to wear face coverings when required, wash your hands and keep your distance from others. If you’re meeting up with others, stay outside if you can and if you are heading indoors remember to stick to the rule of 6 people or 2 households indoors and let the fresh air in by opening windows or doors.
“If you can work from home, please continue to do so – it’s another way we can break the chains of transmission between us. If you’re an employer and you’re able to, please support your employees in doing so.
“And if you’re called for your first or second dose of the vaccine, please do attend your appointment.”
Gerry also urged anyone who missed out on getting the vaccine when they were first offered an appointment to come forward and take it up.
She said: “If you were initially unsure about getting the vaccine it’s not too late. Get in touch with your doctor and they can advise on how to book an appointment. And if you have questions, speak to a healthcare professional or visit the Beat Covid website for up-to-date information.
“Finally, I want to thank you once more for all you are doing. It’s been a long journey to this point and we need to keep working together to keep moving forward.”