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Businesses can help the battle against Covid

The county council is appealing to businesses in Northumberland to comply with the Government’s Covid guidelines.

The county is seeing an increase in the number of cases now people are socialising more following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Businesses in the hospitality industry in particular are being urged to follow public health guidance and are reminded of the importance of having robust social distancing, handwashing and cleaning regimes in place, as well as maintaining temporary records of customers and visitors to support the NHS Test and Trace service.  It's also vital that staff comply with the measures too and that if they have symptoms, they self isolate and get tested.

The increase in cases is particularly noticeable in younger people in their 20s and 30s. Whilst the risk to these individuals might be relatively low, the risk to their parents and grandparents if the virus is passed on to them is much greater and the consequences of infection could be extremely serious.  

The easing of lockdown measures is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. To assist with the Test and Trace system organisations such as pubs and restaurants should collect and keep customer details for 21 days.  By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and sharing these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, businesses can help to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.  Any potential outbreaks can be stopped early and will reduce the spread of the virus.

Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council, said: “We want people to continue to go out and enjoy themselves and support local businesses but that must be done safely.  It is really important that people continue to follow the rules on social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face covering when required.  This is hard when businesses and their staff are busy but if we want them to remain open, it's something we all need to do.

“I would urge everyone to remain vigilant so we can keep on top of this virus; we remain in the middle of a public health emergency.  The last thing we want to see in Northumberland are the sort of restrictions that have been put in place in other parts of the country.  The only thing preventing that is the way people behave and the extent to which we all follow the rules.”

Cllr Jeff Watson, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health said: “We’re grateful that our local businesses have risen to the challenge, reopening to the public in Covid-secure ways as lockdown has eased.

“We all have a role in the battle against this virus and businesses play their part in helping to prevent the spread of Covid by adhering to the guidelines. It is crucial that they keep records of staff, customers and visitors, ready to share with NHS Test and Trace in the event of an outbreak, to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.”

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
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