Dr Louise Smith. Picture: Norfolk County Council

A plea has been issued for people not to drop their guard as the county is seeing around 200 new coronavirus cases a day.

It comes just days before restrictions are set to be lifted on Monday in line with step 4 of the government roadmap.

But health chiefs and council bosses are encouraging people to take personal responsibility in maintaining measures to help keep themselves and others safe.

To support people to do this, Norfolk County Council has today launched a new campaign – IChoose.

County council leader Andrew Proctor said: “There is no doubt we are in a better position than in the first and second waves, due to the success of the vaccination programme – but that does not mean we should drop our guard.

“The prime minister now wants us to exercise personal choice, which I totally support. That’s why today, we launch a campaign – IChoose – to encourage everyone to exercise that choice wisely.

“Please keep taking precautions to help protect yourselves and others and to keep safe. I’ve already made these choices, to protect others – I hope you will do the same.”

The council’s advice is:

  • Continue familiar prevention behaviours such as hand washing and wearing a face covering in public indoor spaces
  • Continue to meet outdoors where possible and ensure indoor places are well ventilated
  • Carry out symptom-free testing two times per week, including for secondary school aged children. Free test kits are available from libraries and pharmacies

Director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said: “We are in a third wave and are seeing around 200 cases a day.

“Even for younger people and people who have been vaccinated, Covid can still make you feel ill – and one in 10 of those who are infected can go on to get long Covid.

“Whilst legal restrictions are being reduced, the underlying messages remain the same.  To protect yourself take preventative actions such as sanitising hands, choosing outdoors and ventilation.  Please participate in testing to identify cases early and prevent spread. Positive cases and contacts are still required to self-isolate.

“We are already considering scenarios for how we could be affected in the winter and the possibility of new variants.

“That is why it’s so important to make sensible choices – including using free test kits, twice a week and continuing to use the NHS Covid app.”

Every district in the county has seen an increase in cases, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has increased by 189 per cent, from a 45.6 cases per 100,000 to just over 132 in the seven days up to Friday, July 9.