‘We could avoid further restrictions if we test, get boosters and wear masks’, says Northamptonshire health chief

“If we exercise and use all of the tools we’ve got in our toolbox we may indeed be able to avoid further restrictions and therefore have the Christmas we were looking forward.”

By Carly Odell
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:16 pm

A Northamptonshire health boss says further Covid-19 restrictions could be avoided if the public continue to test, get booster jabs, wear masks and practice social distancing.

Speaking at a Northamptonshire Covid-19 press briefing today (December 16), the director of public health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils said she did not want to see more restrictions imposed.

Lucy Wightman also said she believes there are actions that can be taken by everyone to avoid additional restrictions.

Lucy Wightman, director of public health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils.

Ms Wightman said: “I have no idea what to expect from the point of view of next steps as outlined by central Government, but what we do know is that obviously restrictions do have a positive impact.

“We do know though, that it is just one of the tools that we have available to ourselves.

“Regular lateral flow tests, if we don’t have symptoms, PCR testing, isolating if you’re an identified case, obviously the vaccination but also the basics around face coverings, hand washing and social distancing are all effective and they’re things we should all be exercising.

“Do we want to see more (restrictions) imposed? No but let's be honest that’s within our gift.

“If we exercise and use all of the tools we’ve got in our toolbox we may indeed be able to avoid further restrictions and therefore have the Christmas we were looking forward to next week.”

Another county health boss, speaking at the same briefing said he expected the situation to get more challenging before it eases, but reiterated the importance of booster jabs and thinking about social contacts.

Toby Sanders, chief executive of NHS Northamptonshire CCG, added: “We are at a really critical point in this. We are expecting cases and numbers to increase very significantly over the coming days and weeks.

“We’re doing everything we can; the booster programme and creating capacity where we can across our different services, but we really really need the local people of Northamptonshire to step up and work with us on this.

“Get yourselves vaccinated, use services really carefully, think about your mixing and social contacts and please bear with us if we have to postpone or reschedule things (non-emergency medical appointments) because we’re having to redeploy teams into other areas.

“We can get through this and will again over the next period and none of us want to be having this conversation again in the run up to another Christmas but it is the reality of where we are and we anticipate it will get more challenging before it eases so please do all those things that can help all of us to stay safe and stay well.”