Column by the leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage.

To protect ourselves, our loved ones and keep South Gloucestershire safe, we must all continue to follow government guidance, in particular on social distancing. To help, this week we have launched a new campaign, ‘I’m helping to keep South Gloucestershire safe’. The campaign promotes the many people in the area working really hard to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and encourages us all to do the same.

The ‘I’m helping to keep South Gloucestershire safe’ campaign is showcasing residents, business owners, customers, schoolchildren and others on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. It shows what they are doing to protect their friends, family and other members of the community.

If you are on social media, please do look out for the images and videos that we’ll post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor over the next few weeks and share these with the hashtag #keepsouthglossafe. If you are on the Nextdoor app, please invite your neighbours to join too so we can continue to grow our South Gloucestershire online community and target messages of specific importance to different areas.

If everyone gets the message out there that we all need to continue to follow the rules and do our bit to keep South Gloucestershire safe, we may avoid further restrictions.

Currently, South Gloucestershire is rated as Local Covid Alert Level Medium in the government’s new three-tier system. That means we have to follow national restrictions including:

• Not meeting in groups of more than six, indoors or outdoors

• Wearing face coverings in all shops, indoor venues including pubs, cafés and restaurants unless seated to eat or drink, and on public transport

• All pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm.

If numbers of cases continue to increase, we could move into the high alert level. This would mean that people wouldn’t be able to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they lived with them or formed a support bubble with them.

We want to do everything we can to prevent such further restrictions. Please help stop the spread by sharing our campaign and sticking to the rules. My thanks go to everyone for all of their efforts, patience, and compassion so far. Let’s all continue to do the right thing.