Date issued: 4 November 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…
The Prime Minister’s announcement that new restrictions will come into force in England tomorrow (5 November) is a difficult but necessary response to the worrying surge in the rates of Covid transmission seen across the country in recent weeks.
We recognise the toll these latest measures will take on businesses and the impact they will have on our personal freedoms, but it is a move that the council must reluctantly support if we want to keep our residents safe and protect the NHS.
You have our assurance that this council will to do everything it possibly can – just as we have done throughout this pandemic – to slow the spread of Covid-19, protect the most vulnerable in our communities and support businesses.
That means continuing to work across the political spectrum and with our officers to help protect residents and staff and keep key services running.
We know, because we have seen it repeated across the borough since this crisis began, just how adaptable and resilient our communities have been in the face of unprecedented measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus. It is something we can all be rightly proud of and grateful for, but we cannot take our accomplishments for granted. As harsh as these new measures seem, we are a long way from ending this terrible pandemic and so we must all continue to play our part in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
That means, from Thursday, everyone must stay at home and may leave only for a limited set of reasons, which include:
- for education (schools, colleges and universities)
- for work, if you cannot work from home
- for exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble, or on your own with one person from another household
- for all medical reasons or medical appointments, and to escape injury or harm
- to shop for food and essentials
- and to provide care for vulnerable people.
- you must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning the people you live with – or support bubble.
- individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place.
- pubs, bars and restaurants will close, although they will be able to offer takeaway and delivery services.
- non-essential retail, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues will all close.
- funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend.
- weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place, except in exceptional circumstances.
- places of worship will close, unless they are being used for funerals, to broadcast acts of worship, for individual prayer, formal childcare, or essential services such as blood donation or food banks.
- manufacturing and construction workplaces can remain open.
We will be maintaining all our key frontline services. However, the following services are disrupted or will be closed from tomorrow for the duration of the national lockdown:
- Colchester Museums: Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum, and the Natural History Museum
- Visitor Information Centre
- Leisure World: Leisure World Colchester, Tiptree, Highwoods and Shrub End Tennis Centre
- Aqua Springs
- The Visitor Centre at High Woods Country Park. High Woods Country Park remains open
- Colchester Market will be trading but with essential stallholders only
- Environmental: You can continue to report environmental and noise concerns. However, the Weekend Noise Service will be suspended.
- Planning and building control
- Bereavement services: The Cemetery and Garden of Remembrance will be closed to visitors, except for those who are attending a funeral, attending the scattering or burial of ashes, or visiting the grave or memorial of a loved one. The crematorium and cemetery are open for funerals with up to 30 mourners. The Book of Remembrance, Prayer Room and the crematorium office are still closed to visitors. Visitors must follow current guidelines.
You can view what services are affected on our online Council Service updates webpage www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/service-updates/
We want to reassure residents that recycling and rubbish collections will still take place as usual (except textile recycling, which remains suspended).
We will continue to coordinate and support efforts across our communities to assist those older and vulnerable residents who will need to isolate themselves during Lockdown II.
And, just as we have been doing since this pandemic began, we will continue to press the Government to provide as much support as possible for those businesses affected.
Many people in this great borough will do the right thing. However, there are others who are developing 'Covid fatigue' and those who think the rules somehow do not apply to them. We want everyone to play their part in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
Please do it for your family, do it for your friends, do it for yourself and do it for your community.