'Sacrifices' asked of Northumberland residents as we approach 'critical stage'

Northumberland residents are being reminded that they must heed social distancing advice as the country tackles the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 1:17 pm

Last weekend saw a number of towns and coastal hotspots busy with locals and visitors, despite advice for people to keep a safe distance from each other and avoid gathering in even small numbers.

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Liz Morgan, Northumberland County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “We continue to work tirelessly to respond, prepare and deal with COVID-19 - prioritising the key services which are vital to our communities.“However, we are approaching a critical phase and Northumberland and the north east cannot avoid the very real consequences of this disease.“While we live in a beautiful county famous for the great outdoors we need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones, our key workers and our communities and to do that we must act now.

“Every single one of us must take responsibility to reduce to a minimum the number of daily social contacts we have; the actions we take over the next days and weeks will determine the extent to which we prevent lives from being lost.”Professor Peter Kelly, PHE North East Centre Director added: “ Those who can work from home should do so. Those who work in essential services and need to go their workplace should rigorously pay attention to social distancing in that workplace. Avoid non-essential use of public transport.“We should only go shopping for essential items such as food and medicines and if we do, then we must take great care to keep a safe distance (two metres) from other people.

“I know following this guidance is hard. But we must avoid gathering with our wider family and friends where possible and avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces. If we need fresh air and exercise then we must stay close to home and avoid other people.“As the Easter break approaches and the weather improves, our natural instinct is to think of the many wonderful assets and beauty spots we have. I would say in the strongest possible terms we are living in exceptional times and we all need to make sacrifices to protect ourselves and others.”