As COVID restrictions start to ease, the Leader of Richmond Council is urging people to stay vigilant and continue to act sensibly.

In recent weeks the number of people testing positive for the virus in Richmond upon Thames has remained low, however as more people start to go out and about, mixing indoors, when further restrictions are lifted next week, it is really important that everyone continues to follow the rules, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

From Monday 17 May, the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor businesses can reopen, and the numbers of people allowed to meet up will increase to six people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors. Guidance for close contact between friends and family is changing, with people allowed to exercise their own personal judgement on close contact such as hugging. The Stay in the UK restriction will also be lifted and people will be able to travel to green list countries if they permit inbound travel.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“Over the last few months, we have been able to reduce the virus down to much lower levels, rates of people in hospital have dropped and of course many people have now been vaccinated.

The number of positive cases across the borough remains low. However, we have all seen previously how easy it is to spike. It is a reminder that it can still spread easily. While some people have mild or even no symptoms, others can be significantly impacted by this disease and its longer-term effects. We need to balance the opening up of the economy with protecting ourselves and each other from this disease.

This is why we are asking people to follow the rules, keep social distancing, continue to wash our hands and wear face coverings where required.

As people are out and about more, it becomes even more important that everyone remembers to take a test twice a week - there are a number of locations across Richmond upon Thames where people can pick up free testing kits or order them online so they can regularly test themselves at home.”

More information on where you can find a home lateral flow test.

A summary of the changes to COVID restrictions due to happen on 17 May can be found on the national Government website.

– from a Richmond Council press release

  • 13 May 2021</cite>