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Leader Statement: Tier 4 - Please Stay At Home

Cllr Joss Bigmore, Leader of the Council said: 'Coronavirus (Covid 19) infection rates have rapidly increased across most of Surrey and following yesterday's (Saturday 19 December) announcement from the Prime Minister we have moved into stricter Tier 4 restrictions today.

'This means we must stay at home where we can and not mix with others from different households except in special circumstances such as support bubbles.

'You can find information on the new Tier 4 restrictions on the government website.

'We understand how distressing this news is for people across our borough. Seeing family and friends at Christmas was providing light and hope to many at the end of this unprecedented year, but because the rate of infection is increasing, those plans will have to change. 

'We must now follow the new restrictions, which are similar to those we followed during the national lockdown restrictions in November and include:

  • no household mixing inside (apart from within a support bubble)
  • only meeting with a maximum of one other person from another household outdoors
  • and all non-essential shops, personal care, indoor gyms and hospitality venues must close.

'The planned Christmas Bubbles do not apply in Tier 4 unless you are in an existing support bubble, which includes families who parents do not live together, please see the government guidance for full details on Christmas Bubbles.

'I want to thank you all for your continuing to play your part and encourage you to take personal responsibility over the festive period to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones and NHS. One in three people with Coronavirus (Covid 19) have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising.

'The safest way to spend Christmas is with your household or your existing support bubble in your own home. The more people you see the more likely you will catch or spread the Coronavirus.  

'The new Tier 4 restrictions will be hard for many of our local businesses and we will continue to support you.

'The virus mutation seems to be far easier to pass to one another so we must reduce social interactions further to keep it under control and avoid overwhelming our hospitals.  We know this is difficult but urge you to please be vigilant and continue to look after each other by following the rules. 

'Remember that many people are being vaccinated every day, there is hope and although today maybe dark and comes as a blow to our festive spirit, as Winston Churchill said: "it's always darkest before the dawn" - if we follow the guidance now we can get through this together. The Tiers are due to be reviewed on 30 December.

'We are supporting local families who need help with food over the Christmas Holidays, working with Foodwise and Mandira's Kitchen to store and deliver their generous donations of meals from 18 December to 4 January. If you are worried about how you will feed your children during the Christmas holidays, please get in touch by calling 01483 444150 or emailing Community.Wellbeing@guildford.gov.uk.

'Please remember if you have a medical emergency continue to visit the NHS website 111.nhs.uk or can them on 111.  

'If you need us, please get in touch we are here to support all of our residents and businesses. Visit guidlford.gov.uk or call 01483 44 44 00 on Monday.'

The Tiers are due to be reviewed on 30 December.

Published Sunday 20 December