Roadmap out of lockdown is 'light at the end of the tunnel' but a 'long way to go' say council and business leaders - The Leamington Observer

Roadmap out of lockdown is 'light at the end of the tunnel' but a 'long way to go' say council and business leaders

THE ‘ROADMAP’ out of lockdown is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ say council and business leaders.

Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day has welcomed the government’s plan which he says shows a gradual and cautious easing of lockdown restrictions.

But he is urging residents not to be complacent.

He told the Observer: “While the threat from covid-19 remains substantial we will continue to focus on supporting local businesses and encouraging and facilitating testing and the take up of the vaccine in our area.

“While there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a very long way to go before we can fully open a majority of our indoor public facilities and hospitality. We therefore urge people to keep following the rules and guidelines still in place, in the knowledge better days are ahead.”

The ‘roadmap’ will see children go back to school on March 8 and people allowed to meet one person in an outdoor space.

From March 29 outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be permitted, and outdoor sports will return.

And on April 12 non-essential shops, gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will reopen. Self-catering holiday accommodation will also reopen and 30 people will be permitted at funerals with 15 able to attend weddings.

Pubs and restaurants will also be allowed to serve food and drink to people in groups of six outside.

On May 17 most social contact rules will be lifted, as well as limited mixing indoors.

And from June 21, all legal limits on social contact will be lifted.

BID Leamington says the easing of restrictions will help local businesses, but many still need support through government funding.

Director Stephanie Kerr said: “Government’s announcement about the gradual reopening of our town centre provides much-needed hope and certainty to businesses here.

“However, the road to recovery is long. We await the Budget in March when we will find out more of its economic plans to aid business recovery.

“In the meantime, we are very grateful for the support people continue to show Leamington stores by purchasing from them online.”

Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe has also expressed her optimism towards the four-step plan to ease lockdown in England, while reminding residents to continue to play their part to control the virus.

She said testing was essential in lowering infection rates because around one in three people did not display symptoms when they catch coronavirus.

Coun Seccombe said: “It remains essential that our residents continue to do the right thing for Warwickshire and follow the rules so that we can continue to drive down the rates of infection and hospital admissions.

“There is still a way to go, as we move towards a more normal way of life, and covid-19 testing and support for the nationwide vaccination programme remain essential in reducing the transmission of the virus in our communities.”

Community testing is available at the Adult and Community Learning Site in Pound Lane and results take around an hour.

Visit for more information.


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