As of today, it is now the law to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces – this means in shops, takeaways and on public transport, which includes Croydon’s trams. You can see the full list here.
It is fantastic to see Croydon starting to open up after months of lockdown, with more people returning to work, enjoying a visit to our local shops and restaurants and spending time family and friends. And it may be tempting to completely relax.
But if we want to continue doing all these things, we need to do them safely. We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security – while the infection rate is currently low in our borough, Covid-19 is still with us. And if we let down our guard, the infection rate could start to rise and we could be looking at a local lockdown, which none of us want.
So if we want to see our lives continue to return to normal, to revive Croydon’s economy and, most importantly, protect our loved ones from the virus – our children, parents, grandparents and friends – it is crucial that we all play our part.
There are some things we can all do to help prevent Covid-19 spreading:
· Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and use hand sanitiser/wipes when out
· Keep your distance from others
· Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
· If you or anyone in your household has any of the coronavirus symptoms, you must book a free test immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus and self-isolate while you wait for the results. You can see the symptoms here.
Getting tested helps us to protect Croydon and our community by quickly identifying who has the virus and stopping it spreading further. By following these steps you really can help to save lives, particularly our most vulnerable. Find out more about how NHS Test and Trace works here.
The school holidays are now officially under way and with many people choosing to stay at home rather than travel this year, I’m pleased that some of our face-to-face services for young people have been able to reopen.
Our £6.5m Legacy Youth Zone, with its fantastic facilities and opportunities, is now open for advance bookings – you can find out more here. Also, our own council youth engagement teams are back in the parks Tuesday-Friday, offering young people socially-distanced group activities and one-to-one support.
It’s been a tough time for our children and young people, with many of them out of school since March. With 93,000 under-18s in our borough, their wellbeing is a huge priority for us as a council and we want to support them as much as possible.
Together with our partners in our Choose Your Future campaign, we’ve been there for them throughout lockdown, offering a huge range of virtual and telephone support for all, as well as face-to-face for our most vulnerable. This continues even as we start to open up some of our face-to-face services and buildings – find out more here.
I want to thank our dedicated youth workers across Croydon who have been there for them and also to recognise our young people themselves who have shown amazing strength and resilience in this most difficult time.
I also want to say thank you to our departing Executive Director for children, families and education, Robert Henderson who has played a key role in transforming our services for children and young people, for which we received a ‘good’ Ofsted judgement earlier this year. Rob is going to take up a new role at another council, and he leaves us with a strong team to continue our journey to excellence – we wish him all the best.
And as our young people return to school in September, we are determined to support them as much as possible and we want to hear from them about the best way we can do this.
We’re asking them to fill in a short survey telling us how they feel and how we and our schools can help them to feel safe, confident and happy in their return – so if you are of school age please take the time to do so, or if you have children of school age, please encourage them to take part. Find the survey here.
And with our leisure centres starting to open up, some of our libraries now open to borrow books and so many of our fantastic local cultural groups offering virtual events, and of course our beautiful parks and green spaces, if you’re planning a staycation Croydon has a lot to offer. Check out our weekly e-bulletin for the latest updates and guide to what’s on – subscribe here.
Have a great weekend,
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council