Trust leaders cautiously welcome moves to ease lockdown restrictions

05 April 2021

Responding to a statement by the prime minister who has confirmed further restrictions will be lifted on Monday 12 April as part of the government's four-step roadmap out of lockdown, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery said:

"Trust leaders will cautiously welcome the prime minister's announcement that lockdown restrictions will be further eased next week.

"We've made great progress in tackling COVID-19. The vaccination programme has been a fantastic success and we thank the public who have endured month after month of restrictions to keep their friends, families, neighbours, and communities safe from this terrible disease.

"But we can't let our guard down yet and we must be ready for a possible spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.

"COVID-19 is still here, it's still highly contagious, and people are still losing their lives to this terrible disease. Within the past seven days, the U.K. recorded 26,347 new cases of COVID-19 and 245 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

"Despite the huge success of the vaccination programme, we still have a long way to go. The picture on the continent is increasingly bleak and the risk from variant strains is real, which now pose the greatest threat to our efforts to control this pandemic.

"It's vital the government closely monitors data over the next few weeks to see what impact this stage of lockdown lifting has had.

"The prime minister made a commitment to be driven by data, not dates and trust leaders will hold him to this. We mustn't rush headfirst into lifting more restrictions in May unless it is absolutely safe to do so.

"In the meantime, we urge everyone to have their COVID-19 jab when they are offered it, to take up the government’s offer of two free rapid COVID tests per week when this is rolled out later this week, and to continue following social distancing rules.

"This will be key in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and reducing unnecessary deaths."

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