Suffolk works on creating safer places as lockdown measures ease


Press release issued on behalf of Suffolk Resilience Forum published on 29 May 2020.


Businesses, towns and spaces in Suffolk are getting extra help to make them safer and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading as lockdown measures are eased. Support to make this happen comes from the ‘Safer Places’ group, part of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, which is made up of Suffolk’s NHS, Emergency and Public Services.

The Government has announced a phased easing of rules around businesses and other properties opening, starting in June. The group is supporting businesses to meet this national guidance, allowing them to trade safely and keep their customers safe.

As well as the retail sector, councils and public services are looking at their own areas and facilities in readiness for changes in national guidelines, such as car parks. The Safer Places group will also be engaging with local organisations, communities and councillors and organisations to look at tailored solutions for their particular areas. Measures are likely to evolve as guidance changes or improvements are made.

David Collinson, the lead for the Safer Places group, said:

“The safety of our communities is the most important thing as our high streets and businesses recover. “Ultimately, businesses are responsible to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, but through the Safer Places group, we’re doing everything we can to support them and help reduce the risk of infection.

“While, the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus, is to stay at home, we understand that people will want to visit the high street and parks, so we are supporting businesses and authorities to make these places as safe as possible.

“Everyone has a role to play in keeping each other safe. We can do this by continuing to follow the government’s instructions, such as keeping 2 metres apart from others, regularly washing our hands and limiting our use of public transport - think ahead about your hygiene.

“Suffolk has successfully slowed the spread of the virus, but we must all stick with it and keep following the guidance.”

An example of safer spaces being created, are those planned for our highways. To ensure appropriate safety measures can be put in place for communities across Suffolk, the county council, with partners has developed guidance and advice on how safe, social distancing measures can be maintained on the highway.

This includes empowering local councils and the business community to make small-scale temporary changes to enable safe, social distancing, without the need to seek consent from Suffolk County Council.

Where there is a requirement or desire for larger, more detailed changes to be made in the community, these will need to be discussed with county council.

Any of the temporary changes made during this time will be kept under review and the county council will continue to work with its partners to adapt to government guidance and review what support is needed to help the local economy.