Mask stock image. Picture: Pixabay.

Norfolk bus operators are backing a campaign which encourages people to help keep others and  themselves safe.

To coincide with Monday’s latest lifting of restrictions, Norfolk County Council launched its IChoose initiative, which calls for the public to keep sanitising hands, wear masks in crowded places and regularly test for Covid.

The council is also advising people to meet outdoors where possible and ensure indoor places are well ventilated and, carry out symptom-free testing twice a week.

In a joint statement, Norfolk’s bus operators said they want to help passengers to travel with confidence.

“On our buses we’ll still be doing lots to help keep people safe – including enhanced cleaning, open windows for better ventilation and cab screens for our drivers.

“We’re encouraging people to follow national guidance and asking those who can, to wear a face covering on board.

“Please keep taking precautions to help protect yourselves and others and to keep safe. We’re making these choices to protect others, and we hope you will do the same,” the statement said.

The peak of the third wave of coronavirus is expected sometime next month and, with around 200 new cases being reported daily in the county, health chiefs and council bosses have urged people not to drop their guard.

Director of public health Dr Louise Smith said: “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.

“While 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.”

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.” 

He added: “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.”