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Today's announcement offers us hope, but coronavirus is still with us

The announcement of next week’s easing of restrictions has been possible due to the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and local communities following the guidance and giving their support, says health care leader Dr Ed Garratt.

Dr Garratt, chief executive of the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, who has overseen one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the country, has highlighted that those eligible for vaccination should still come forward and that walk-in vaccination clinics will still be taking place all over the patch in the coming weeks and months.

Dr Garratt says: “Today’s announcement on the loosening of restrictions will seem like a huge relief for many and it certainly gives us hope for a more normal future.

“I want to thank everyone who has done their bit so that we have been able to reach this stage. But, I really want people to understand this doesn’t mean it’s all over and that coronavirus has gone away. It hasn’t. Our hospitals, GP practices and community services all remain under incredible pressure.

“What this announcement means is that we are able to take some small steps back to normality, however, we all need to continue with those actions which will help our communities get back to where they were before this pandemic began.

“Only through vaccination has it been possible for these restrictions to be eased, so everyone eligible still needs to come forward, whether that’s for a 1st , 2nd , 3rd  , 4 th   or booster dose. There are lots of walk-in clinics taking place and we have no plans to end these. They will remain a pivotal part of our fight against coronavirus.

“I urge people to continue with other actions too, such as testing and regular hand washing. It’s also important to remember that wearing a face covering will still be needed in a health care setting, such as your GP practice – by doing so you will be helping protect the wellbeing of staff so that they can continue to provide a good service to their community.”

Visit  www.sneevaccine.org.uk  for trusted facts and information and details of locations and dates of walk-in vaccination clinics.

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