Last week it was great to see thousands of Bracknell Forest pupils return to school for the first time since the Government imposed lockdown in March.

Our schools have worked extremely hard to support a safe return for all pupils and will continue to follow the necessary measures to provide children with a safe learning environment.

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If you have children, you can help to keep schools open and running smoothly too, by making sure you do not send your child to school if they or anyone in their household has symptoms of COVID-19. Instead, follow the guidance on self-isolation and book a free test, either online or by calling 119.

While we’re thinking about younger people, it’s also really important that those who are going out socialising follow social distancing rules. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a friend’s house, in a pub, bar or restaurant or at a sporting event, you still need to keep your distance from others.

In Bracknell Forest we have a very low number of cases but, like everywhere else, we are seeing a trend that young people aged between 18 and 34 are the group predominantly testing positive for COVID-19.

While we know that younger people are statistically less likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19, they are still able to spread it. This means they could infect their older relatives and friends or those in higher risk groups, who may not be as lucky to just feel a bit under the weather for a few days.

Likewise, if you’ve recently been on holiday abroad, for example to a party destination where social distancing has been lax, you need to follow all quarantine rules to stop those you love from getting sick. If you don’t need to quarantine please ensure you social distance, keep up with handwashing and wear a face covering when needed, these measures will all help protect your more vulnerable family members.

Remember, if you’re meeting with friends at home only two households can do so at the same time. If you’re meeting outside then you can meet up to six people from different households. Always keep your distance from those you don’t live with. I know it’s difficult as there are many situations where we want to hug friends and family – either because we’ve missed them or to congratulate, celebrate or commiserate, but by keeping our distance we are protecting ourselves, each other, and our borough.

Keep safe and well

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE

Leader

Bracknell Forest Council