Last week, the Prime Minister announced a new Roadmap to relaxing the Pandemic restrictions. This sets out a loose timetable of how the Government predicts restrictions will be lifted, from 8th March 2021 (when children will return to face to face schooling and one-to-one socialising in public spaces becomes possible.) 

If you are looking for useful summaries you can share, both the BBC and The Guardian explanations work well in Google Translate, (as does this one from AgeUK) and the multilingual resources on the Migrant Info Hub are also reliable and accessible.   

LASSN’s position remains the same as it was last March and last July: that Staff and Volunteers should

  • Keep up to date with (and follow) the official advice and guidance from Government and Public Health
  • Make sure the person you support is getting the free monthly phone credit offered by LASSN
  • Proceed with caution, especially if your actions/activities could increase the risk of infection for you and the people you support

Although mass vaccination has helped to reduce the number of people getting very sick with Covid-19 – please be aware

  • The science shows that most of the people we support are at significantly higher risk of infection and severe illness than the wider population
  • Most LASSN clients have not received a first dose of the vaccine yet
  • Our clients are likely to take their lead from you about what is acceptable and not acceptable. So the way you go about planning/actually meeting up will likely influence how they start meeting and socialising with others
  • Even if you have been vaccinated, and the person you are meeting has been vaccinated, this does not mean you are both “safe” or that you can act as if restrictions don’t apply. None of the current vaccines have been proven to reduce the spread of infection, so it is still important to reduce your possible exposure to the virus by limiting the number of people you see, and prevent transmission of the virus via masks and social distancing.  

So, if and when you and the person you support judge the right time to meet up in person 

  • Do so within the official advice and guidance from Government and Public Health
  • Choose a method of contact that suits both you and the person you are supporting (and the other members of their household) and consider the questions we posed at the bottom of the guidance from July 2020 
  • Please speak with your Volunteers Manager before you do, so we can make sure you have everything you need to do this safely

LASSN’s activities will resume at a pace we all feel comfortable with, with risks identified and managed carefully. There are no plans to re-occupy our offices as our main place of work just yet, and certainly not until we’ve been able to see the impact of Step Four.

Thank you again for your support and enthusiasm over the last year, particularly through the last few months of Lockdown3. It has been hard for everyone, and we are all looking forward to a loosening of restrictions and to see you face to face and to pick up from where we left off.   

Jon Beech, Director – and all the Volunteers Managers at LASSN