As a new national lockdown is called by the Prime Minister, residents and businesses in Tendring are being urged to follow the rules.
On Monday (4 January) new restrictions were announced across England with people told to stay at home except for a few permitted reasons.
In summary people must only leave their home for specific purposes (such as getting food and medicine, medical treatment, or for work if they cannot reasonably work from home); can only exercise once daily, and only with one other person; and no household mixing except for support and childcare bubbles.
If exercising people should stay local to their village or town, while shielding resumes for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. Schools and colleges are closed, except for vulnerable or key worker children, and all non-essential retail, hospitality and leisure venues are closed except for takeaway, delivery or click-and-collect services.
The full guidance can be read online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home, and restrictions are expected to be in place until at least mid-February.
With Tendring placed into Tier 4 of local Covid-19 measures last month, many of the restrictions were already in force in the district.
There are no new significant changes to Tendring District Council (TDC) services, but updates can be found at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Those who are shielding, or otherwise struggling to get supplies, can also call the Tendring Shield helpline on 01255 686700 for support.
Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said it was now more important than ever to follow the national restrictions.
“I am not a fan of continued lockdowns or restrictions, which are damaging to people’s mental health and livelihoods – but we are now nearing, I hope, the final hurdle,” Cllr Stock said.
“As the Prime Minister set out last night we now have a road map to the lifting of restrictions, thanks to the vaccination programme, and we need to tighten up on restrictions now to protect the NHS until we get to that point.
“So let’s do everything we can to reach that goal – stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives, and if you must go out then remember hands, face, space. Stay local – we have fantastic beaches, parks and playgrounds right across the district, so there is no need to travel far to access beautiful open space.
“Together – as a council, as a community, as a country – we can get through this.”
The Chancellor has also announced this week a new package of business support grants, and TDC officers will be working through the details in the coming days to passport these to local businesses.
Details of new business grants, which come into effect as a result of the move to Tier 4 on Boxing Day, will go live this week; details can be found at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Cllr Stock added: “Just as it is vital we stay home to save lives, we also need to love local to support our economy. So please think of your local shops, whether for your essentials or when shopping online for other goods.
“Our Facebook group is still running – www.facebook.com/groups/ShopSafeTendring/ – where local businesses can post up how people can access them online, and I’d encourage people to use it.
“We know how important these business support grants are, and our team is continuing to work hard to process all of the applications to all of the schemes as quickly as possible.”