Essex to move to Tier 2 restrictions
The Government has today announced that the majority of the country, including Essex, is to be placed under new Tier 2 restrictions when the current lockdown lifts on Wednesday December 2.
This week, the Government announced details of a new three tier system, which sees the tightening of restrictions involved in the tiers.
Under the updated Tier 2 restrictions, social mixing outside of individual households will not be allowed indoors and the rule of six will still apply outdoors.
Pubs and bars and restaurants can open but only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
Businesses including shops can open, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care or Health, said: “In October, council leaders across Essex unanimously made the decision to request Essex be placed into Tier 2 restrictions due to the exponential growth in cases of coronavirus across the county.
“When we recommended entry into tier two, national lockdown had been ruled out as an option. Subsequently it re-emerged, so actually, the impact of our recommendation on Essex was short lived. However, the decision had a positive impact. In the weeks following entry to Tier 2 there was a significant flattening of the upward curve and regionally, Essex’s case rate reduced, from being in the top three council areas to the bottom two.
“Following national lockdown, we saw infection rates in other counties respond more quickly than ours, but both case rates and hospital occupancy are now stable.
“The government’s new tiering criteria are more stringent than those that we left behind.
“We recognise that there is still work to be done. We understand that going back into Tier 2 will be hard for many, but we must all work together, follow the restrictions in order to save further lives and continue to protect our NHS.
“We are committed to supporting residents and businesses through these unprecedented times.
“We have a clear incentive. Our aim is to bring the rate of transmission and covid hospital occupancy down so that Essex can be placed in the lowest tier of restrictions as quickly as possible. With the help of everyone who lives and works here we can achieve this. Now more than ever, we need people to follow the rules of hand, face, space, work from home if possible, and always socially distance.”
In order to further support Essex businesses through these restrictions, this week, ECC and district, borough and city council colleagues, have launched grant funding worth over a total of £30 million, to support businesses and enable them to adapt their premises. Businesses can apply through their local district, borough or city council website.
ECC remains committed to supporting the county’s most vulnerable residents. Through the Essex Welfare Service, the County Council is offering practical, emotional and specialist support. Earlier this month the council also announced £1.5 million winter support for children, families and the most vulnerable.