A quarter of Herts residents admit they’d ‘pop to the shops’ even if asked to stay at home

23 per cent of people asked said they would leave the house during self-isolation because the guidan

23 per cent of people asked said they would leave the house during self-isolation because the guidance is not clear. Picture: HCC - Credit: HCC

A quarter, 27 per cent, of Hertfordshire residents would leave their homes to go shopping even if asked to self-isolate, a recent survey by Hertfordshire County Council revealed.

Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown and means staying at home because you are at risk of infecting others.

The county council survey showed other reasons for leaving the house during self-isolation included: guidance not clear (23 per cent); caring responsibilities (17 per cent); needing to go to work (11 per cent); and wanting to see friends and family (5 per cent).

Many people manage to self-isolate successfully but for some it can be a real challenge – whether that’s because of family commitments, caring responsibilities, a financial need to work or because people don’t fully understand what it means. But local organisations are eager to highlight the support available.

Darryl Keen, director of community protection, chief fire officer and chair of the strategic coordination group of the LRF, said: “Essentially self-isolation means you cannot leave your home for any reason unless it is an emergency – if you do, you not only risk being fined, but you could also spread coronavirus to more people, leading to stricter lockdown measures in Hertfordshire and ultimately putting lives at risk.

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“There has been a significant rise in cases in Hertfordshire, but staying at home if you’re ill is the single most important thing you can do to help us stop coronavirus spreading.”

Anita McArthur-Worboy from HertsHelp, Hertfordshire’s countywide information, advice and support service, said: “If you need help with essential tasks such as shopping, collecting medicines, dog-walking, or you are worried about your finances or emotional wellbeing, please get in touch – we support people from all walks of life and people should not be embarrassed to ask for help if they are struggling.”

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