Coronavirus cases rising in North Somerset

Confirmed cases of coronavirus are increasing in North Somerset so everyone needs to do their bit to help prevent the spread of infection.

During the summer there were very low case rates locally but earlier this week North Somerset had the highest rate of confirmed cases in the South West, 20.5 per 100,000 population.

This is slightly above the national average of 16 per 100,000 people.

There is no room for complacency and, regardless of age or state of health, everyone must play their part to protect themselves, their friends and family. We are all in it together.

This means frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, maintaining social distancing of two metres wherever possible, wearing a face covering unless exempt, and self-isolating and booking a test if you experience any symptoms of the virus.

Read the latest health advice and encourage friends and family to follow the rules, but remember to be kind and tolerant to others.

Specific advice is available if you’ve been travelling abroad or are returning from overseas travel.

If you’ve got symptoms, no matter how mild, you must self-isolate and book a test.

Here in North Somerset there is a regional testing centre at Bristol Airport and mobile testing units at Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare and the Castlewood car park in Clevedon.

From Monday (14 September), social gatherings of more than six people have been banned to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down.

This applies to indoor and outdoor settings – including private homes and gardens – but there are some exceptions.

These include schools, colleges, universities, workplaces; where your household or support bubble is already more than six; or if it’s a Covid-secure event such as weddings, funerals or organised team sports.

Pubs, cafes, restaurants, shops and other venues will remain open but the new rules mean you can’t visit in one group of more than six people. The government will publish a full list before the law changes on Monday.

Other measures are also being brought in, such as it becoming mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data and keep it for 21 days.

For full details visit the government website.

You can see the dashboard of weekly North Somerset Covid cases, along with the council’s local outbreak management plan, on its website.