Hartlepool greets March 29 easing of lockdown rules just swimmingly

Hartlepool greeted the latest easing of pandemic restrictions just swimmingly.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 5:05 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 5:08 pm

Five swimmers, calling themselves The Brass Monkeys, met at Seaton Carew on Monday, March 29, for a socially-distant dip as the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown continued.

Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs also are now free to reopen after months of being shuttered.

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Five swimmers are all set for their swim in the North Sea. Picture by Frank Reid

In addition, organised team sports can resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place ahead of the Easter break without the need for social distancing.

Residents across town have been thanked for the “many sacrifices” they have made in helping to reduce the spread of coronavirus across town.

Denise McGuckin, Hartlepool Borough Council’s managing director, said: “It has been a long, hard winter and I’d like to thank residents of the town for their support – and the many sacrifices they have made - in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Pat Cheshire, left, and Betty Monkman getting together again on March 29. Picture by Frank Reid

“I hope people enjoy the new freedom to meet up outdoors with family and friends from Monday - but only within the limits set out.

“There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but it is vital that we continue to follow the rules to prevent a resurgence of the virus and, potentially, delays in the further easing of restrictions.”

The next raft of changes are due on Monday, April 12, when “non-essential retail” businesses such as hairdressers, bars and restaurants can begin to reopen.

Craig Blundred, the authority’s director of public health, has urged people to book a vaccination appointment as soon as they are contacted.

He added: “All of the evidence shows that vaccination rollout is having an impact and I would urge people when contacted to book an appointment.

“However, it is important that we all continue to take the basic precautions that can do so much to reduce the risk of transmission.

“Please remember hands, face and space – and we should always do these as a collective measure, not one or the other.”

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