Ahead of June 21, when many had been hoping coronavirus restrictions would be able to lift, Oxford City Council is reminding people not to get careless with the current rules.
In the race between the vaccine roll out and the new, faster spreading Delta variant, the things people do to protect each other are vital to slowing the spread.
Keeping a distance, wearing a mask when needed indoors and on public transport, and meeting outdoors, all help limit the opportunities to pass on the virus to others.
A few things change from Monday 21 June. Weddings can have more than 30 guests, so long as they are socially distanced; care home residents will no longer routinely need to isolate if they leave the home; overnight trips for out-of-school groups of up to 30 are allowed. But most of the requirements of step 3 remain unchanged.
“We’ve come a long way from January, when the NHS warned it was close to being overwhelmed. The vaccine roll out and the actions we’ve each taken have made a huge difference.
“I know that people feel the threat has diminished, and of course we are in a better place than January thanks to the NHS vaccine roll-out. But we’re seeing more careless behaviour around the rules, and that allows the virus to spread more.
“Throughout this pandemic the government has been keen - sometimes too keen - to give individuals the responsibility rather than set rules. So the fact they have extended step 3 shows how seriously we still need to take the risks.
“Everyone can take action to slow the virus spread. Enjoy meeting friends and family safely, keep to six indoors and keep hugs for your closest friends and family. Keep sticking to the rules, hands face space and fresh air. What we do now will help the NHS vaccine roll out beat the virus.”
Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Safer, Healthier Oxford