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Keep safe signs by artist Becky Vincer in Dover as third lifting of coronavirus lockdown nears


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New signs urging continued guarding against Covid are up in time for the third stage of lockdown lifting.

Indoor venues re-open from next Monday and the colourful street signs in Dover town centre, designed by Kent-based artist, Becky Vincer, reinforce the hands, face, space message.

One of the Covid safety signs, Dover precinct. Picture: Dover District Council
One of the Covid safety signs, Dover precinct. Picture: Dover District Council

Similar town centre re-opening campaigns have been running in Deal and Sandwich as part of the Government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Nadeem Aziz, chief executive of Dover District Council, said: “It’s been a tough start to the year for everyone but thanks to the hard work of local residents and businesses, along with the success of the NHS vaccination programme, life is slowly starting to return to normal.

“As our town centres and high streets get busier it’s important that we continue to maintain the basics – regular hand washing, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing.

“We’ve got much to look forward to in the district this summer. Following a tough year for local businesses it’s more important than ever that we support our local town centres by shopping locally and safely.”

Town centres across the district are expected to be busy this summer as people choose to stay closer to home, with visitors opting for coastal locations.

Council chief executive Nadeem Aziz..Picture: Gary Browne
Council chief executive Nadeem Aziz..Picture: Gary Browne

The 149th golfing Open at Royal St George’s in Sandwich in July is also expected to bring a welcome boost to the local visitor economy in the district.

From next week hotels pubs and restaurants can open indoors along with venues such as cinemas and hotels.

Pubs and restaurants are re-opening for groups of six people and two households. Cinemas and concert halls can take up to 1,000 people or be half full, whichever is lower.

Outdoor theatres and concert venues can take up to 4,000 people or be half full, whichever is lower.

The last stage of lockdown is expected to take place on June 21.

Biggin Street precinct, Dover, deserted at the start of the third lockdown, January 5. Picture:Sam Lennon
Biggin Street precinct, Dover, deserted at the start of the third lockdown, January 5. Picture:Sam Lennon

Family reunions and larger social reunions will finally be allowed and restrictions on larger events could also be eased.

Places such as nightclubs ad big sports venues are also expected to reopen.

These changes depend on the continued success of the vaccination programme and rates of infection sufficiently declining.

The coronavirus pandemic has paralysed the world since early 2020.

From January 30, 2020 to yesterday the UK had 127,609 deaths and an increase of four between Sunday and yesterday.

Several local vaccinations have taken place at Dover Health Centre
Several local vaccinations have taken place at Dover Health Centre

The infection rate went up by 2,357 over that day.

But in January the pandemic was at its very worst, with a third lockdown needed.

Between January 9 and 10 there were 54,940 UK infections and 563 deaths.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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