The Prime Minister is expected to announce next Monday (14 June) – based on the latest review of the evidence – whether or not further easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions (Step 4) can take place in England on 21 June.
The Government’s decision will be based on four tests:
The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
Its assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of COVID-19
The latest UK-wide data shows that cases of the Delta variant in England have risen by 29,892 since last week to 42,323. This includes 57 cases in Swindon since the variant was identified in April, although the current risk to the wider community is low.
New research suggests that the Delta variant is associated with an increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha variant (first identified in Kent).
With the Delta variant now accounting for the overwhelming majority of new cases in the UK, Public Health England comment that “it is encouraging to see that the increase in cases is not yet accompanied by a similarly large increase in hospitalisations.”
Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant. Once vaccinated, you are:
unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it
there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others
It’s up to all of us not to jeopardise the gains we’ve made. Please keep following the guidance and playing your part.
Latest COVID-19 case rate data
As of today (11 June), the COVID-19 case rate in Swindon is 23 per 100k, up from 15 last Friday. The South West average is 25 per 100k and 60 per 100k for England.
From 1-7 June, there were 52 new COVID-19 cases in Swindon, up from 34 the previous week.
A further 2,135 Swindon residents had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, bringing the total number of people who have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 129,744.
A further 12,066 residents had their second dose this week, bringing the total number of Swindon residents fully vaccinated to 91,376.
If you are aged 25 or over, you can now book your COVID-19 vaccination through the National Booking Service, which is available online or by calling NHS 119. You shouldn’t wait to be contacted by your GP practice.
Appointment slots for first and second doses are available at all vaccination sites. If you can't find a local slot straight away, keep trying as more appointments are added regularly.
With the Delta variant now present in all areas of the UK, regular COVID-19 testing is more important than ever. Getting tested regularly can help protect the ones you love, so it’s important to continue testing even if you’ve had the coronavirus vaccine.
As well as ordering online, you can now pick up COVID-19 home testing kits from Highworth Library, West Swindon Library and North Swindon Library during opening hours. Find out all the different ways you can access testing here.
Ahead of the Euro 2020 football tournament kicking off today (11 June) Superintendent Phil Staynings advises the community: “We know there will be a lot of people across the county looking forward to the first major international football tournament in three years and we are prepared to help support our communities enjoy it.
“It will come as a welcome distraction and celebration as lockdown restrictions ease, but we remind everyone that while restrictions are still in place, we should all be playing our part to keep everyone safe from a global pandemic.
“With restrictions currently planned to change during the tournament on June 21, we will work with the local authorities to ensure that licensed premises abide to the current rules until this date and then be ready for the anticipated changes.
“While we want everyone to enjoy themselves, we ask that this doesn’t get carried away and create problems for their communities, many of whom won’t be interested in the football.
“We ask that people drink responsibly- if you do drink, plan your journey home in advance by booking a taxi or having a designated driver and violence of any kind will not be tolerated.
Find out more here and get a reminder of the latest COVID guidance here.
Thamesdown Drive resurfacing
From 21 June, sections of Thamesdown Drive are due to be resurfaced.
The work will take six-seven weeks to complete and will take place at the following locations:
The Orbital Shopping Park / Eastbury Way junction
Link between Redhouse Way & Eastbury Way eastbound only
Redhouse Way / Torun Way junction
Oakhurst Way / Thursday Street junction
Haydon Brook Bridge northbound only
Day time closures will be in place except for at The Orbital junction, Oakhurst Way / Thursday Street junction and Haydon Brook Bridge which will be closed overnight to minimise disruption to shoppers and residents.
Access will be maintained for local residents and diversion routes and signage will be in place during the work. Advance notice boards have been put up in affected areas.
The work is dependent on the weather. Residents and motorists are advised to check the advanced notification boards for up-to-date information.
Great Western Hospital is very busy at the moment, with lots of people waiting to be seen in the Urgent Treatment Centre and Emergency Department. In the video above, Emergency Department Matron, Natalie Lawrence, shares some information on their current position and offers advice about how else you can access healthcare in Swindon and Wiltshire. You can also find out about all the healthcare services available on the Great Western Hospital website.
Time is running out to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their family member (resident in the UK by 31 December), apply now to continue to work, study, access healthcare and benefits in the UK.
Check the latest guidance if travelling abroad
Before travelling abroad, make sure you are aware of the latest government travel guidance, as this can change regularly. You can check which countries are rated as red, amber or green for coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rules you must follow here.