Public health boss reveals her approach to life after Covid rules

Coronavirus cases in Norfolk are "stabilising", according to the county's director of public health,

Coronavirus cases in Norfolk are "stabilising", according to the county's director of public health, Dr Louise Smith. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

With the end of Covid-19 restrictions seemingly in sight, individual responsibility will soon become a key factor in limiting the spread of the virus.

While prime minister Boris Johnson this week said there may still need to be some restrictions in place, the government's roadmap out of lockdown is currently still planned to take its next step on July 19.

If the plan stays as it is, this date will see nightclubs reopen, large-scale events reintroduced and the mandatory wearing of masks in shops and other indoor facilities removed.

However, Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, says she personally will continue to take precautions beyond this date - whether they stay mandatory or not.

Almost a third of adults in Norfolk and Waveney have now received both doses of the coronavirus vacc

The next step of the government's roadmap is due on July 19. - Credit: PA

She said: "Some of the things that we can do to reduce the risk really do not come at that great a cost to our way of living - things like wearing a mask and regularly washing our hands.

"Personally, I will not stop doing that right away. For example, I know wearing a mask makes a difference, so I'll personally carry on doing that in shops even after it stops being mandatory."

Once restrictions are fully lifted, it will be up to people to make their own minds up about how they go about every day lives - and some may choose to take things at different paces to others.

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Dr Smith, for example, said she will still lean towards socialising outdoors where possible.

She said: "I think when I meet up with my friends I will ask them to do so in the open air. I certainly won't be going straight to any wild parties indoors where everyone is hugging each other.

"Even without restrictions, I will prefer to be in controlled environments. I won't be going anywhere where people might try to hug me when I don't want to be hugged. With things like concerts, I will favour outdoor venues.

"I'll still hug my mum and my dad though.

"I will also continue to carry hand sanitiser and carrying on testing myself regularly. 

"Even if these little things aren't mandatory, the more people that carry on doing it the better things will be."

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