MEMBERS of the public have been reminded to stick to the coronavirus advice in order to prevent a return to lockdown.

Hampshire County Council has issued the reminder as schools, colleges and universities begin to welcome back children and young people in the next few weeks.

Simon Bryant, the local authority’s director public health, said: “As a county we are in a relatively good place currently, with comparatively low numbers of confirmed cases of the virus.

“However, this could change quickly if we aren’t vigilant.

“In particular, we are seeing small increases in infection rates, especially among young people, 15 to 29, some of whom are returning from holiday abroad, and in others who are socialising beyond boundaries.

“With thousands coming together in ways we haven’t seen since the Spring, September will be an exciting time for many, but please be smart - keep your distance, wash your hands - you can never do this too often, and wear face coverings, wherever and whenever you’re asked to do so.”

In addition, Mr Bryant is reminding local residents of why it’s vital to self-isolate if requested to, either following a positive test, being the contact of a positive case or having returned from travel to a ‘quarantined’ country.

He said: “The prospect of having to keep yourself away from others for up to two weeks may be frustrating for some, particularly if you have just returned to college or to your workplace, but without a vaccine, it’s one of the very few ways we have to keep control of the virus and stop it spreading.

“The virus can have quite a long incubation period so sticking to the full 10 or 14 days is critical to avoid passing it on.”

In the 24 hours leading up top 4pm on September 6, 20 people tested positive for the virus, giving an infection rate of 406.7 per 100,000 people.

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