As you will all be aware the Government recently approved a request made by Essex County Council to be moved into Covid Tier 2 restrictions which came into force from midnight on Friday for the majority of Essex residents.
According to Public Health England figures, there were 1,215 coronavirus cases in Essex in the seven days to Sunday 11 October – up 43% compared to the previous week. Councillors believe that tougher restrictions will help them to better protect hospitals in the county which could soon come under increased pressure.
However these new restrictions do not currently apply to residents living in Southend or Thurrock which are unitary authorities. This decision has subsequently led to a considerable amount of confusion for many residents across Essex.
HM Government have developed the following materials to help members of the public understand the current Tier 1, 2 and 3 guidance.
To help reach communities where English is not the first language, the following translated materials have been developed in a variety of languages:
From midnight on Friday 16 October, Essex will move from medium to high alert level. A statement from Cllr 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.
“More information is available on the GOV.UK website around specific restrictions which apply to the High level category.
“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.”