JUST after vulnerable people were given the green light to go back outside after shielding at home for months from coronavirus, Oxfordshire health bosses have encouraged them to shelter inside from the heatwave.

The city is expected to bask in highs of 30C today and tomorrow, warmer weather than some parts of the Mediterranean.

Many residents will be welcoming the news, especially after the new easing of lockdown rules announced by Boris Johnson in Parliament yesterday afternoon.

The Prime Minister said that from next Friday, most of the country will be getting back to business as normal – from the long-awaited news that hairdressers will be reopening to the announcement that beer gardens will be back in time for an excepted hot summer.

However, in a message to residents yesterday, Oxfordshire County Council bosses urged residents to follow seven vital steps to keep safe during this week's 'sweltering' heat.

They told people to wear UV sunglasses and slather on the SPF sun lotion; drink lots of hydrating drinks and avoid booze, coffee and fizzy pop; never leave dogs or children in parked cars; keep windows open and curtains closed; turn off non-essential lights and electrical items that generate heat.

They asked everybody to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm – when UV exposure is at its strongest – but they especially urged vulnerable and older people to avoid the sunshine.

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Other councils have also started preparing for the scorching weather with the Vale of White Horse District Council changing the weekly bin collection times to 6am so crews can avoid the afternoon heat.

In the message to all residents, the county council managers also asked everybody to ‘look out’ for vulnerable people – elderly, young and people who are sick.

The point was echoed by GPs and health bosses who said that vulnerable people should look to stay inside.

County council consultant in public health Dr Eunan O’Neill said: “Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.

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“The older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”

Dr Kiren Collison, a GP and clinical chair at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “The warm weather is enjoyable for most but for some people – especially older people and those with underlying health conditions – the summer heat can bring real health risks.

“We would encourage everyone to keep an eye out on those you know who may be at risk this summer and if you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

“Follow guidance on Covid-19 at all times and when using public cool spaces including shaded outdoor spaces please remember social distancing measures do still apply.”

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On July 4, those measures will be relaxed with the two-metre distance rule being reduced to one metre when standing 6ft apart simply is not possible.

Two households will be also allowed to meet in any setting – inside and outside.

The hospitality industry will begin reopening too, along with outdoor gyms, galleries, theme parks, libraries, social clubs, and community centres.

Boris Johnson said that places of worship will swing open their doors for wedding parties of up to 30 people and others who want to congregate for prayer - after Easter and Eid celebrations at the start of lockdown were halted.

The Conservative leader also pledged that every child would be back to school in September because ‘it is safe’.

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What shops are open in Oxford today?

In Oxford most of the shops have opened back up to members of the public, after non-essential retail was given the thumbs-up to welcome shoppers back.

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Can I use the toilet at the Westgate Centre?

The Covered Market and the Westgate Centre, both popular hotspots with tourists in the city, put plans in place for a one-way system and hand-sanitiser stations.

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Other public spaces, like Oxford’s Botanic Gardens have also opened again – but with no public toilets, shops or smaller confined spaces like the Glasshouses and Herbarium Room.

Instead, the stunning grounds – that were reopened by Oxford University’s vice chancellor Louise Richardson – will have a pre-booking system in place every 30 minutes for visits of two hours.