We are now experiencing the most dramatic change to village life in living memory as part of the global fight against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
In a move that would have been unthinkable here just weeks ago, the latest UK Government announcement says that, from today (Tuesday 24th March), we should now all remain in our homes other than for buying food, health reasons or essential work. This restriction will last for at least three weeks and is to be enforceable by law – including through fines and police dispersing gatherings. But it’s anticipated most villagers will appreciate the gravity of this unprecedented situation to protect themselves and their loved ones from catching and passing on the potentially lethal virus, and therefore willingly comply with the stringent new measures.
The guidance states that, if we do need to venture outside, we should observe strict ‘social distancing’ at all times – and then thoroughly wash our hands as soon as we get back home. This has, in fact, been the strong, health recommendation since before the weekend – when our schools were closed and all pubs, clubs, cafés and eat-in restaurants were shut down along with some other non-essential venues. However, many people disregarding this advice over the weekend is thought to have led to these stronger and clearer measures being introduced sooner than Prime Minister Boris Johnson intended.
Closing all non-essential shops and community spaces and stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public are now added to Government restrictions. It’s hoped spreading the peak of COVID-19 infections in this way will still give the UK a chance of not overwhelming our NHS – and therefore save thousands of lives across our country.
HERE’S A SUMMARY OF WHAT “STAYING AT HOME” MEANS:
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons…
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – but even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (7 feet) apart from anyone outside of your household.
These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.
If you are a key worker, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
The Government states: “These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus. Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures. The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.”
It adds: “They will initially last for the three weeks from 23rd March 2020, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.”
For when you do need to make that essential shopping trip, RUDDINGTON.info will bring you details on which village retailers will be continuing to trade as soon as all have reached their final decisions.
Meantime there’s even more news about how the COVID-19 outbreak is totally changing life in Ruddington >>HERE<<.