Residents asked not to forget the essentials when shopping

27 January 2021

Residents in Cheshire West and Chester must remember to wear a face covering and give each other space while shopping during the national lockdown.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is reminding shoppers that hands, face and space guidelines are more important than ever, even if you have had a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Latest data shows that the borough had 1,244 new COVID-19 infections in the seven days to 20 January and a rate of 363 per 100,000 people.

Hospitalisation rates have been at their highest levels since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Infection rates are still really high across the borough so we’ve got to do everything we can to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.

“During this national lockdown we are still able to shop for essentials, like food and medicine, but you must remember the real essentials of wearing a face covering inside, social distancing by giving each other two metres’ space and remembering to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly.

“Keep your shopping trips to once a week, to reduce your risk, and avoid busy times. Or shop online – including at your local businesses who can deliver.”

Directors of Public Health across Cheshire and Merseyside have written to supermarkets and food or convenience stores in the borough welcoming the announcements by leading companies that they will now only allow those who are medically exempt from wearing a face covering to enter their stores without one. 

They also ask that shops reintroduce all the measures that were applied during the first national lockdown in March 2020, including one-way systems, a limit on the number of shoppers in store, social distancing markers, messaging and monitoring, allowing only one person to shop and reminders to customers to only touch items they intend to buy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic so far the Council has worked with more than 1,000 of the borough’s businesses, including shops, pubs and restaurants, hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, taxi firms, childminders, care homes, gyms and manufacturers, supporting them to put in the best measures to keep staff and residents safe.

Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council and chairman of the Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health Board, said: “Despite the great progress being made with the vaccine roll out, it is still important that organisations continue to keep people safe.

“Supermarkets and food stores can help reduce the spread of COVID by strictly adhering to the public health guidance. Our hospitals are still extremely overwhelmed with COVID patients so we must do everything we can. 

“If supermarkets and food stores can closely follow the guidance, it will contribute to fewer positive COVID cases in our community. We all want to see an end to this lockdown. We would like to thank everyone working in the food/retail sector who have worked tirelessly to serve their customers throughout this difficult time.”

If you do develop symptoms of COVID-19, including a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you should self-isolate immediately and book a COVID-19 test by calling: 119 or visiting: nhs.uk/coronavirus.

If you believe a business or individual is breaking COVID-19 regulations visit the Council's website.

For information on home delivery from local businesses visit Live Well Cheshire West.

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