Over the last few weeks, as lockdown restrictions have and continue to be eased, there’s inevitably been some rumblings on social media sparking concern about people not following the latest Government guidance.
One thing I would like to say as a local Doctor and Clinical Chair of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group is how pleased and proud I am of the overwhelming majority of people in Doncaster for sticking together and following the guidelines to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
It’s right that we need to start getting back to some sort of new normality – but with this in mind, it’s vital that we continue to be aware of what we are doing and what is happening around us.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that local pubs, bars and restaurants reopened; a vital step in helping to rebuild our local economy. Following this, we saw the news that gyms and beauty salons are able to reopen, in a safe way, following guidelines to protect staff and members of the public.
But one thing is for sure, to enjoy some of the things we have missed, we can’t risk going back to where we were in March; we’ve got to stick together and work as a borough to continue to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
I’d like to share a few examples of what I mean by this.
If you go out to the local shops, be aware of what you’re surroundings, who you are in contact with and especially what’s happening around you. It’s now advisable, and will be mandatory from 24 June 2020, to wear a face covering if you’re going into enclosed spaces such as shops, to protect yourself and others. It’s another way of staying safe, reducing the chances of catching the virus from others that may not know they are carrying the virus.
If you’re going to a public place that looks busy, take a moment and consider going somewhere else first. Going to a busy indoor public place increases the chance of catching Coronavirus; you’ll not only put yourself at risk, you’re also putting those close to you at home and work.
If you plan to go to a bar or restaurant, you’ll more than likely need to book. As part of the national NHS Test and Trace programme, you will also need to provide your name and contact details, so if you do come into contact with someone that is carrying Coronavirus, they can inform everyone and advise self-isolation for 14 days.
If you are unfortunate to be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, it’s really important that you follow the advice given. Even though you may feel fine and appear well, there is every possible chance you could be carrying the virus without knowing and pass it on to others – be that on a bus, train, at work or your local gym.
Self-isolation is there for a very good reason and shouldn’t be ignored. We’ve all come so far and done so much to help reduce the spread of the virus. As we start to rebuild our day to day lives, local economy and start doing the things we have all missed, we need to do this sensibly; to protect you, others, as well as local NHS health and care services.
Finally, if you need to see a GP or nurse, contact your local practice by phone first; GPs, nurses and local practice staff continue to be here for you. If you are asked to come in for a GP or nurse to see you, staff may look different – be wearing a face mask and different clothing, but still providing the same levels of high quality care and treatment.
As a local GP and on behalf of other health and care colleagues, we’re relying on you – let’s do it for Doncaster!