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COVID update

Dear Parent,

I am sure you are well aware that the Prime Minister has confirmed that the governments easing of COVID restrictions (step 3) will go ahead as planned on Monday 17th May.

 

The following is from the government doc, published on 10th May 2021.

Click here to go straight to it.  Further easing of COVID restrictions confirmed for 17 May - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The national data shows that the government’s “four tests” for easing restrictions have been met. Infection rates (nationally) are at their lowest level since September, while hospital admissions and patients in hospital continue to decrease - with levels now similar to July last year.

Hospital admissions and cases of severe illness also remain in line with modelling provided by scientific experts for the Roadmap.

From the 17 May, the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor economy can reopen, and gathering limits will increase indoors and outdoors. Guidance for close contact between friends and family will be updated, with people exercising their own personal judgement in line with the risks.

The Stay in the UK restriction will be lifted and people will be able to travel to green list countries, if they permit inbound travel.

 

The local picture is not as positive currently. We have been lucky here at Ashleigh, with only a few bubble closures since the start of the pandemic (March 2020), and none at all since January this year. In other local schools, there have been multiple bubble closures, and the infection rate across Blackburn with Darwen is actually rising. Currently, we have the third highest rate in the country. The variant which appears to have originated in India, is present in the local population, and data is suggesting it is more contagious than even the Kent variant.

 

All of these factors have led our local authority, Blackburn with Darwen (BwD), to ask schools to continue with our current COVID measures for the foreseeable future. They are determined not to accelerate the rising infection rate, which could then lead to local restrictions being imposed across the borough.

We have been incredibly successful as a school community, at managing to keep the virus mostly away from our friends, family and loved ones. We appear to only have a little further way to go until things can go back to normal. I will let you know as soon as I receive any more updates from the DFE or our local authority. Until then, keep up the great work!

 

As ever, thank you for your continued support.

Mr. Matthews

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