County Council “welcomes” decision to place Essex under high level coronavirus restrictions

PUBLISHED: 14:19 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:02 15 October 2020

Health Minister Matt Hancock. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Health Minister Matt Hancock. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Archant

The government’s decision to move Essex under the “high” level of coronavirus restrictions has been welcomed by the County Council leader.

Cllr David Finch, leader of Essex County Council. Photo: Essex County Council.Cllr David Finch, leader of Essex County Council. Photo: Essex County Council.

The announcement was made today (Thursday), after council leaders and MPs requested the restrictions on Tuesday from Conservative Health Minister Matt Hancock.

Under a high level Covid-19 alert, residents should not mix indoors with people outside of their household or support bubble, including in pubs and restaurants; residents should also stick to the rule of six when outdoors.

People should work from home whenever possible, and try to reduce the number of journeys as much as possible. Residents are also advised to avoid travelling to “very high” risk areas.

Care homes are closed to external visitors, other than in exceptional circumstances.

Pubs and restaurants have a 10pm closing time - but if cases continue to rise and Essex is placed under the “very high” alert, they will only stay open if they serve food.

Shops, gyms and healthcare services remain open.

Conservative Councillor David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: “We welcome the government’s announcement today regarding Essex moving to the high local Covid alert category, which is clear recognition of the severity of the situation we find ourselves in as a county, and indeed across many parts of the country.

“We think the Government has decided correctly, guided by the science and the fact is that the number of cases in Essex is rising exponentially.

“We understand that the move to the high local Covid alert level may affect people’s lives and businesses and understand the very strong feelings about this. However, we have a duty of care to the people of Essex, and we firmly believe that this is the best route to minimise disruptions, to save lives - not just for those with the virus, but for other patients as well - and to protect businesses.

“These are difficult times for individuals, businesses and communities, but I know that as a county we will come together to support and protect one another – as we have done previously - and that acting sooner rather than later to curb the spread of Covid is the right thing to do.”

More information about the high level restrictions is available on the gov.uk website.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter