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‘Anyone can spread coronavirus, so stay at home this weekend’ – County leaders issue stark warning

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:04 28 March 2020

A woman walks along St Helens Street in Ipswich in a mask  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A woman walks along St Helens Street in Ipswich in a mask Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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People in Suffolk are being urged to stay at home this weekend after county leaders issued a stark warning that “anyone can spread coronavirus”.

The numbers of cases of coronavirus in Suffolk continues to rise.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe numbers of cases of coronavirus in Suffolk continues to rise. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A joint statement issued by Suffolk County Council on behalf of the county’s public sector leaders said the national guidance was “very, very clear” and urged people to continue to follow social distancing advice.

The statement comes after concerns that people in the county are still gathering in groups and visiting Suffolk’s popular coastal spots in significant numbers.

Busy beaches have been reported across the east coast, including at Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, despite government advice – prompting HM Coastguard to issue a warning this week for people to stay at home.

Police have now been issued powers to fine people who are not following guidance of only going out for essential food or medicine, exercising once a day, or travelling to and from work when they cannot do so at home.

Aldeburgh seafront but people are being urged to stay away this weekend  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDAldeburgh seafront but people are being urged to stay away this weekend Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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The statement said: “With the continued threat of coronavirus hanging over Suffolk, we have a very simple message for every resident. Anyone can spread coronavirus so everyone should stay at home this weekend. We can’t make it any more simple than that.

“National guidance is very, very clear on this. Given the need for us all to remain extremely vigilant, follow advice and keep two metres away from each other until we are told otherwise, we urge all residents to enjoy the weekend within the limitations that have been set nationally.

“The sad and very real fact of the matter is that anyone can spread Covid-19 so unless there is an urgent need to buy basic food essentials or medicines, all of us should stay at home throughout this weekend, regardless of age.

“One session of exercise is permitted which can be done alone or with members of your household, but we have to be sensible. We should not drive to a place to exercise, we should start and end at home. This might mean making the most of your garden, if you have one. We know that not everyone does, so either way, we need people to enjoy time at home – not going out into the wider community unless it is essential for you to do so.

How well do you know Suffolk?  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHow well do you know Suffolk? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“People should only travel to and from work if they absolutely cannot work from home.

“The national restrictions that are in place are for the long-term benefit of us all and aim to protect the most vulnerable residents and relieve pressure on emergency services, health and care. We all have a part to play in reducing risk so please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

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Leaders in the county added that “working together and supporting each other” was more important now than ever.

“As public service providers we share the same priorities and principles that drive our work to improve the lives of all residents across Suffolk,” the statement added.

“We have a very positive history of working together to deliver major collective decisions and policies that support economic and social changes across Suffolk.

“This approach to working together and supporting each other is more important than ever. At this time, we are in regular contact, ensuring our plans are effective and up to date so we can react to the evolving picture over coming days, weeks and months.

“The people of Suffolk are highly resilient and community focused. It is exactly this sort of collective spirit we need to maintain if we are to get through this difficult period of history together.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to every team and individual member of staff who is out in the community right now working tirelessly across our services to continue supporting vulnerable residents.

Volunteers and members of staff are doing great things to support their families and friends as well as wider communities to connect the work of our organisations with other charity providers so we can all stay informed on the latest guidance, policies and ensure we have the opportunity to play our part in fighting this terrible virus.

“We hope you all have a pleasant weekend and thank you for your continued support.”


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