It’s great to see so many people enjoying long-awaited catch ups with friends and family, and to see our town and district centre businesses welcoming people back. Lockdown has been tough on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing, and reconnecting with others and getting back to the things we love, is important for us all.
As we enjoy these new freedoms, it’s vital that we do so safely. If you’re heading out to catch up with family and friends in one of our beautiful parks, enjoy a meal outside a pub or restaurant, or having visitors to your garden, why not get yourself a free rapid Covid-19 test before? Results are available in just 30 minutes. You can collect two packs of seven test kits from NHS Local Testing Sites in the car parks at Central Parade, New Addington or Croydon Arena, South Norwood – both are open for test kit collection in the afternoons. Alternatively, anyone who lives or works in Croydon can get a free rapid test at one of our four community rapid testing centres located across the borough. You can book a test and find out more here. You can also drop into our rapid testing sites to collect two packs of test kits, for you and your family to use at home. Remember around one in three people don’t have any symptoms of Covid-19 – by taking a rapid test, you can reduce the risk of spreading it without realising.
Regular rapid testing is part of our defence, but the most important public health advice remains hands, face, space, fresh air – wash your hands regularly, cover your face in enclosed spaces, keep your distance from others and meet outdoors. As much as we all miss hugging our loved ones, it is more important to help them stay well and keep our incidence rate low, so that we can keep on seeing them. It’s particularly important to remember social distancing now that our town and district centres are reopening and our streets are busier. Shops, pubs and restaurants across Croydon have worked so hard to reopen in a way that is safe for them and their customers, so let’s all support them in this by playing our part. Be considerate when you’re out in public spaces – keep your distance from others, so that we can continue to enjoy being together.
I’m delighted that 90% of over 60s in Croydon have now had their first Covid-19 vaccination – this is a fantastic achievement by our partners Croydon NHS and all of you, in our communities, who have come forward to be vaccinated. Today and tomorrow, there is a walk-in vaccination clinic at Centrale shopping centre for anyone who is over 50, or a frontline health or care worker over 30. The clinics are running from 8am until 9.45pm, so if you are eligible and haven’t yet had your vaccine, pop down there – no appointment required. If you are over 45, you can book your vaccination online on the NHS webpage. Thank you to everyone who is helping to deliver this vital vaccination programme, and to all those who have taken up theirs. Keep going, and please do take up the vaccine when it is your turn – this is how we will get back to doing the things we love.
Have a great weekend, and stay safe,
Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health