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LA7 statement: Lifting of requirements does not mean pandemic is over

Published February 21, 2022 5.15pm


The Government has today announced that all Covid-19 restrictions will end in England on Thursday.

The legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive test will be removed.

From April 1, free mass lateral flow testing will also be stopped.

While the law may be changing, the fact that these measures help to reduce infections, prevent illness, and help keep yourself and those around you safe has not changed.

The lifting of these requirements does not mean the pandemic is over. Covid-19 continues to spread and people of all ages remain susceptible to infection.

Continue to exercise caution 

We would continue to ask you to be sensible and cautious in the weeks and months ahead as we all learn to live with Covid.

It's also not too late to get your jabs if you're yet to begin a course of vaccination. Every jab helps build levels of protection within our community. So whether you still need your first jab, or you need a 2nd or a booster dose, please come forward.

As with any other illness, if you are unwell then please stay at home and remove the risk of passing your illness on to others. If your children are sick, then similarly try to keep them home from school so others don't become ill as well.

Other measures we have become used to, such as wearing a face covering in crowded indoor spaces, keeping a safe distance from others, washing hands regularly and ventilating rooms will also continue to be effective.

Protecting the vulnerable 

While the pandemic has had a significant impact upon us all, please be considerate of those who may be more vulnerable or nervous than you as restrictions and requirements are lifted. For some, this will be a daunting time if they are at greater risk of serious illness. Please, continue to be kind.

We are in a very different place to where we were when the pandemic began. We have a largely-vaccinated population offering a very good level of community protection, and we of course understand the need for people to get on with their lives and focus on their physical and mental well-being.

Living with Covid is new to us all, but communities have stuck together through all we have faced so we are confident you will do the same again.

Working together as a region has got us this far in challenging and uncertain times, and that is exactly how we will continue through this next stage.

We will do all we can to make sure we progress smoothly and protect our most vulnerable residents, limit the pressures on health services, keep children in school, and help our region recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader, Durham County Council   

Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader, Gateshead Council  

Cllr Nick Forbes CBE, Leader, Newcastle City Council  

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor, North Tyneside Council  

Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader, Northumberland County Council  

Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader, South Tyneside Council  

Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader, Sunderland City Council   

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor  

Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner