The need for personal responsibility will be key once many legal coronavirus restrictions are removed, the leader of Staffordshire County Council has said.

The comments come after the Government confirmed it will push ahead with the so-called freedom day on 19th July.

Cllr Alan White said that while it was positive to see restrictions removed, residents and businesses needed to ensure they were continuing to reduce risk for themselves and others.

Cllr Alan White

“In Staffordshire, we have seen cases rise above the national rate, so we know the easing of restrictions comes hand-in-hand with an increasing risk of both catching the virus and passing it on to others.

“While it is great news that we can all enjoy more of the freedoms we have worked so hard to win back, Covid has not gone away and we need to take personal responsibility for the things we do, including wearing a face covering on public transport or in crowded places and gradually moving back to the office.

“We know that cases will rise, there will be more hospital admissions and sadly more deaths, but we need to keep these as low as possible and continuing to take personal responsibility as well as getting vaccinated as soon as possible is the best way to do this.”

Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council

Key changes from 19th July include no limits on how many people can meet and face coverings no longer being required by law.

Full details can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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12 Comments

  1. A very wise friend from Burntwood put it perfectly to me recently. He often shows wisdom beyond his years and said:

    “I think you make the best with what you’ve got, you know? Sometimes you have very little. And you just always try to rise to higher ground, because you’re going to suffer one way or the other, so you just hope that you have strength and perseverance and good friends and faith, some kind of faith, to endure and move on to greener pastures.”

    Quite right too.

  2. Personal responsibility is perhaps asking a lot after a year or more of restrictions. Even self preservation seems to be a lesser priority.
    Predictions of high infection rates and the possibility of 200 deaths a day (73,000 deaths a year) is now seen as acceptable. A far cry from the start of the pandemic. I understand the government’s dilemma in that “If not now then when?”, but the plan is high risk. It is a global disease with more twists to come yet. There are no good decisions to be made only conditional ones.
    The people of Lichfield have shown great responsibility over the last year. I hope they feel it prudent to maintain a level of care for a little longer so we can assess the outcome of the on going government social mixing experiments, and the effects of the football gatherings.

  3. Having watched the scenes from Wembley and pubs watching the Euros, I can’t help feeling this is the triumph of hope over experience.
    Would it be too cynical to think that this is Tory ‘laissez-faire’ taken to extremes, and Johnson’s way of diverting blame for inevitable rises in cases away from his refusal to close the borders to the incoming Delta variant, and on to the general public?

  4. Sadly, we’re in a position whereby BoJo has made a rod for himself in declaring there will be no further lockdowns. He can’t possibly go back on his word now so, he has to push on….in the full knowledge that it’s the wrong move. He’ll no doubt blame us, the NHS, sports fans,….basically everyone apart from himself. This is the government we currently have….the Gov most people voted for so, suck it up.

  5. It seems to me that this is one of the most dangerous points in the whole pandemic.
    The rest of the world is watching us because we’re the only country removing restrictions with an increased infection rate.
    Vaccines don’t make us immune, we can still spread it and because it’s so rife here the chance of mutation increases.
    I’m reading that half of deaths could be double-jabbed people and that no one knows how long the vaccine works, so the most vulnerable had theirs 6/7 months ago.
    I’m admitting I’m scared, for my elderly and vulnerable relatives, for businesses who’ve been left alone by govt to make decisions, for younger people who’ll catch it and some will get long covid and for nhs workers who are bracing for the next wave.
    Personal responsibility, what a joke from the clown pm.

  6. Whoever thinks Sir Boris won’t put us all back into stay at home lockdowns by November is a fool. Once the NHS can’t cope again in coming months our hand will be forced once again. Until in decades to come they can completely irradicate this particularly virus our lives as we know it are over. Just live, die, repeat. Our human rights are completely controlled by our government. Human rights, absolutely none whatsoever.

  7. As a BBC radio presenter suggested to a government minister recently, isn’t the personal responsibility concept flawed when masks protect other people form the wearer? Removing the requirement to wear a mask in shops means if you go in a shop you’re at the mercy of other people’s personal responsibility. And there s lot of people out there who appear not to care at all about anyone beyond themselves and their mates.

    The ratio of deaths to cases is much much lower than it has previously been thanks to the vaccination rollout which has on the whole being perhaps the only thing about Covid-19 that the government has manage to do well. But there are a lot of people not fully vaccinated. School children aren’t being vaccinated as is happening some other countries. (For example in Canada everyone over 12 is being vaccinated.) And people are still wearing masks. Government is saying the daily number of cases could be far above what it has been before once restrictions on gatherings and masks being law are removed. This could go very badly. And for what. The government can literally create money to give to people who run nightclubs to stop them going bankrupt. There an obvious answer to if not now than when. When nearly everyone is vaccinated. It really wouldn’t take much longer to get nearly everyone vaccinated. Everyone wants to get rid of masks, but why not wait a little longer.

  8. Making it ‘personally responsible’ to wear a mask is just a con so the Tories can shift the blame now the Johnsonvariant is becoming prolific across the country to the public rather than the poor choices this government constantly makes.

    Just because you are vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t spread the virus, it just means you have a more effective resilience to the disease.

    As for the ‘oh my human rights’ how about think of others human rights to continue to exist rather than dying of a horrible disease before whining about not being able to go to the pub, Majorca etc.

  9. Well Richard, our lives will not be over, apart of course for those killed by the virus. As for human rights, are you claiming that it is your human right to infect other people through not complying with basic precautions?

  10. @Richard. The government is currently removing all legal restrictions. I don’t feel particularly comfortable with that, but it’s a bit much to claim that “we have no human rights whatsoever” on the basis that you think that there will be another lockdown if the NHS can’t cope later this year…

  11. I hope for the best, but I’m really tired of articles like this, where LDC leaders just trot out the same platitudes from government press releases, adding nothing helpful or relevant to the local community.

    Voting for this government and/or placing any trust in them is like using a dodgy builder or buying something at a too-good-to-be-true price off ebay. They are lazy and incompetent, wanting to enrich themselves and their friends whilst making the least possible effort. There is a mentality of trying to do things on the cheap and putting things off in the hope that the problem will just go away, and it ends up costing us a ton of unnecessary deaths and wasted money.

    I’m very grateful to be doubly vaccinated, as are 69% of people in Lichfield (figure taken from the BBC website). Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) most of us have been given the cheapest available vaccine, which unfortunately seems to be less effective against the Delta variant, and with other as-yet-unknown variants still to come… I have had COVID-19 and it was extremely unpleasant – a vastly reduced chance of serious illness/death is great, but there is more to life than just surviving. I don’t want to keep getting sick every year or every six months with a nasty flu-like illness – if the Tories want to designate that as ‘normal life’, I’m not interested. Rickets and TB are on the rise too, that’s life in Tory Britain in 2021.

    So yes, it’d be nice to potter around the shops, have a pint, go to the Fuse Festival, but I’m not. Maybe next year (or in 2024).

    As David says above, we should be vaccinating the over-12s as other countries including the USA and Israel are doing – instead the government’s tame scientists in the JVCI drag their feet, prevaricate and equivocate in the hope that they can get away with doing nothing. Apparently it may be more ‘ethical’ to let our children get sick with a novel virus which has unknown long-term effects, as vaccinating them may do more to protect other age groups. Aye, right.

  12. Debating this further with a wise friend from Burntwood and saying to him we sometimes do not understand how lucky we are and that we just need to pause, reflect and make better decisions and judgements.

    He said: “I’ll tell you what I’m grateful for, and that’s the clarity of understanding that the most important things in life are health, family and friends, and the time to spend on them.”

    I think that is lesson for us all in these challenging times. I’m grateful to have a friend like him, who always shows wisdom beyond his years.

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