Date issued: 23 December 2020
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, and the group leaders of the Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative and Highwoods Independent groups, Cllr Martin Goss, Cllr Tina Bourne, Cllr Paul Dundas and Cllr Beverley Oxford, have issued the following joint statement:
Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement earlier this afternoon, that Colchester will join the rest of Essex and move to Tier 4 restrictions from Boxing Day, comes as no surprise and is a difficult but necessary response to the worrying surge in the rates of Covid transmission seen in the borough over recent days.
Colchester had done well to keep infection rates lower than other parts of the county and to avoid going into Tier 4 sooner, but the rapid jump in new cases – currently around 250 in 100,000 of the population and predicted to rise further – now speaks for itself.
There is no doubt in our minds that we are all being asked to do the right thing to make sure those we care about the most and our most vulnerable residents are safe.
Under Tier 4, the following restrictions will apply:
- No socialising with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting.
- No socialising with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any outdoor setting. You can meet one other person in a public outdoor setting if you maintain social distancing and follow the guidance on meeting others safely. You cannot meet in a private garden.
- You can continue to do unlimited exercise outdoors alone, or with your household or support bubble. You can visit parks, countryside accessible to the public, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities.
- You should avoid travelling outside your local area, except in exceptional circumstances.
- You should work from home if possible. Where you cannot do so, you can continue to travel to the workplace.
- Non-essential retail businesses, accommodation providers, indoor leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, indoor attractions, personal care facilities and community halls must close.
- Hospitality venues, such as pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants must close except for takeaway (until 11pm), delivery, drive-through and click and collect services.
- Essential businesses, such as food shops, market stalls selling essential goods, banks, vets and medical services can stay open, in a COVID-Secure manner.
For a complete list of all Tier 4 restrictions, please visit www.gov.uk, where you can also view restrictions and exemptions in all tiers.
We are enormously proud of the way our communities have looked out for each other, supported each other and worked hard to keep our infection rates some of the lowest in the county throughout this extremely challenging year. And we have been humbled and inspired by our own staff, who have worked through this pandemic, supporting others and keeping essential services going. Rest assured, the council will continue to provide the necessary services and support to all, just as we did during the first lockdown period.
This council is here for you, just as it has been throughout this crisis, but we also need you to follow the rules, think about reducing the risk of infection both to yourself and others and continue to do everything you can to keep these rates down. Everyone knows how difficult and disruptive to normal life this is, but we cannot give up now. Please stay at home and celebrate safely.