As the country enters a national lockdown, councillors are pleading with local people to adhere to the regulations, stay at home, and look out for their friends and neighbours.
The Prime Minister announced a national lockdown last night which means you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave your home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- to go to work if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- to exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
In addition, you cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with, and you should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
People should also stay safe by staying 2m apart from anyone not in their household, and continuing to wash their hands regularly and wearing a face covering.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “We have made this plea several times, but again I would urge local people to adhere to this new national lockdown. Please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“We know how tough this is for everyone, and particularly for those who are shielding or live on their own for example. That is why we will continue to support our local community through the Southend Coronavirus Action Line on 01702 212497 and Livewell Southend platform, and I would urge people to keep looking out for our neighbours and loved ones, just like we have been doing all along. We will also continue to support our local businesses through the various support and grants available.
“We have done it before and now we will do it again. We will get through this together and as a community, and look forward to a brighter and more positive future as the vaccination rolls out nationally, and we continue to step up our community testing locally which will identify more positive cases and thus protect more people from getting sick.
“Please follow the new rules. Stay at home apart from the reasons specified and if you are out for a permitted reason please stay local, stay safe and stay apart from those you don’t live with. I would also remind any potential visitors from outside the Borough that our seafront car parks and bays are suspended and you should be staying local, so please don’t visit at this time.”
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “We must all work together to get through this and protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.
“We find ourselves in a very serious situation and so we must all act like we have the virus and minimise the contact we have with others. This will help prevent the spread and stop people becoming sick.
“Rates continue to rise nationally but if we all adhere to the rules and stay at home, we can protect the NHS and save lives. Please do your bit, stay at home, look out for your neighbours and continue to remember hands, face, space too.”
For more information on a range of support available in the community, please visit the Livewell Southend website.
On Wednesday 30 December, the council announced that it was suspending seafront car parks and parking bays in order to deter visitors from travelling into the Borough.