Brighter days

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Published Friday, 26th February 2021

Sutton Scene column from Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee

The beginning of the week saw the government announcement that pupils in all schools and further education settings will return to face-to-face education from 8 March. Guidance for schools has been circulated and the Council will continue to work closely with schools, offering support and guidance as needed, including redeployment of staff and volunteers to assist with testing. 

In addition to this, people will be able to leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one other person from another household. Apart from this, the Stay at Home restriction continues. Though the rollout of the vaccination programme has been successful, it is still important to wash your hands, cover your face, keep your distance.

Further steps have been announced up to 21 June, but they will only happen on the basis of the government’s assessment of the current data against the four tests. Those tests are:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • The government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

We will keep you updated on test assessment and next steps.

The vaccination programme in Sutton is going well, with a significant number of residents having been vaccinated. This includes offering the vaccine to all residents in the 79 care homes in the borough, as well as those who are housebound.

I would like to thank all volunteers who have assisted in the programme, vaccination champions who have shared their experience and those who have recorded videos in different languages to reach out to our diverse community. Also, to all residents for your ongoing commitment in difficult times to ensure that we adhere to restrictions to not only keep ourselves safe but also our family, neighbours, friends and colleagues.

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