We are following the Government's plans to relax some COVID-19 restrictions but it's still important to follow the rules to keep your family and friends safe.
Manchester after 19 July
Thank you for everything you have done to keep one another safe over the last year and a half. None of this work could have been done without you.
We are now at the final step of the Government's road map which means many legal restrictions are lifting and the Prime Minister has talked about personal responsibility - and taking things slowly because Covid numbers are still going up across the country and the pandemic is not over.
This is especially true for Manchester, where we are also an enhanced response area because of how quickly our numbers have been going up and more people are getting the new variant, which is so much easier to spread.
So, to make it clearer we have outlined a Manchester Message on what personal responsibility means linked to our numbers and we are asking the whole city to adopt this code from 19 July:
- Meet outside. It is safer as fresh air blows the COVID-19 germs away. If you do meet inside, open the windows where possible to let in fresh air.
- Take the vaccine when you are offered it. Vaccines reduce (but do not eliminate) the chances of catching COVID-19 and passing it on and of severe illness. Consider whether you and your loved ones are vaccinated and whether there has been time for the vaccine to take effect before being in close contact.
- Make sure you get both doses of the vaccine. It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants. Someone who is fully vaccinated is also 70-75% less likely to infect someone else.
- Remember that some people are more at risk than others. The risks from COVID-19 and close contact are greater for some people. For example, you might choose not to have close contact with an older person or someone with a health condition at this point, particularly if one or both of you are not vaccinated.
- Please also consider other people and wear a mask to protect you and them in indoor settings when it is busy or where other people may feel uncomfortable if you don't. Wearing a mask is not just about protecting you from Covid-19. It also helps to stop you from giving it to other people who are more at risk or not vaccinated. We strongly encourage you to wear a mask on public transport.
- Minimise how many people you're in close contact with, and for how long. The more people you are in close contact with the higher the chances of you catching or passing on COVID-19. Longer periods of close contact increase the risk of transmission but remember that even brief contact can spread COVID-19.
- If you have the classic 3 symptoms of Covid, take a PCR test immediately. The classic signs are high temperature, new and continuous cough and a change in sense of taste or smell. In Manchester we have found that sometimes the Delta variant means you don't always get the 'classic signs'. So, if you feel unwell with diarrhoea, sore throat, muscle or full body aches, feel very tired, have headaches that last a long time; blocked or runny nose, or sickness or vomiting, please also take a PCR test. If in doubt, take a test.
- Continue to take a symptom-free COVID-19 lateral flow test twice a week as a precaution. If you do have symptoms, however mild, self-isolate and book an NHS (PCR) test immediately.
- Continue to wash your hands regularly.
- Make space for other people to maintain social distance if they want to.
- You must self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (however mild) or test positive, and do not meet up with others during this time. This is essential to stop any transmission. If people don’t self-isolate, we will continue to see outbreaks in settings and in communities and won’t be able to contain the virus. And if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive you will need to take a test.
- There is no shame in getting the virus, so please take all the help on offer - as this will help you during those days.
- Parents – to help keep COVID-19 out of our schools it is crucial that families continue testing twice a week for secondary-age children and older. Testing remains an important part of our overall strategy to get our lives back to normal. Everyone’s efforts together can ensure we keep going.
Thank you - this will help us all get to where we need to be.