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Health experts issue social distancing warning for coming heatwave

PUBLISHED: 18:31 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:55 06 August 2020

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant has reminded people why to practice social distancing  Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant has reminded people why to practice social distancing Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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Health experts have reminded people to ensure they stick to social distancing measures as temperatures soar over the next few days.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk  Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILStuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

The warnings come as the county is set to bask in baking temperatures of more than 30C – with the sunny weather expected to bring with it an influx of trips to the seaside and local beauty spots.

But despite the coronavirus lockdown having ended, health officials are continuing to appeal to the public to follow social distancing in the hopes of preventing a rise in virus cases.

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Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health Suffolk, said: “Whatever the weather, it is still crucial to regularly wash hands, keep social distancing, wear a face mask when required and get tested if you feel unwell. Of course, we expect to see more people out enjoying the fine weather, and that is good for our wellbeing.

“But there will be popular destinations around Suffolk, so if somewhere looks busy when you arrive, move on and find somewhere quieter. The busier somewhere is, the greater the risk of the virus spreading and creating the potential for strict lockdown measures to be reintroduced.

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said: “The East Suffolk coast is a fantastic place to visit on a hot summer’s day and we entirely accept that people will want to visit our beautiful beaches and market towns.

“However, it is of course really important that people are sensible and have an enjoyable time without putting themselves or others at risk. We are not out of the woods by any means and, as a simple rule of thumb, if somewhere looks overcrowded, it probably is overcrowded and you should think about going elsewhere.”

“But the message remains clear,” he added. “Stick with it and always stay alert, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.”

MORE: Weekend heatwave on the way as doctors issue health warning over 34C temperatures

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service area commander, Ken Williamson, said accidental fires are also a risk during warmer weather.

Cdr Williamson added: “The increasingly dry conditions make crops, grass, trees and undergrowth particularly vulnerable to fire. In the past we have seen acres of land destroyed because someone has flicked away their cigarette or not properly extinguished their disposable barbecue.

“We are asking people to be aware of these dangers and respect their surroundings. If you see a fire at any time of year, call 999 immediately.”


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