Date issued: 13 October 2020
“Essex County Council has today (Tuesday 13 October) applied to the Government for the county to be placed into the new ‘High level’ banding of Covid-19 restrictions, to help stop the continued spread of the disease.
“It is a step that has not been taken lightly and comes after careful discussion with leaders and MPs across the county, in light of a concerning rise in the rates of Covid transmission across Essex.
“While recognising the impact this step could have on businesses and people’s freedoms, it is a move that we, in Colchester, reluctantly support because we want to keep our residents as safe as possible.
“We may not currently be at the levels seen in other parts of the country, but with the way the rates are escalating, it would only be a matter of weeks before we were. Something needed to be done now to prevent us seeing the rates faced in parts of northern England.
“If agreed, the ‘High level’ restrictions would mean people will not be able to meet with anyone outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. They would also not be able to meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
“If we stick to these guidelines and follow the simple steps of washing our hands, wearing face coverings (if not exempt) and keeping our social distance, we can all play our part in halting the spread of the virus in Colchester and Essex as a whole and hopefully prevent the threat of even further tougher restrictions. We would also urge everyone to download the NHS Test and Trace app and, if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, to get a test.
“As we did through the national lockdown, this council and its partners will do everything it can to support business and residents impacted by the introduction of any new measures. We will also be encouraging 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 getting 'Covid fatigue' and those who think the rules 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 friends, do it for your family, do it for yourself and do it for Colchester.”
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: