Cheshire West and Chester Council urges everyone to follow restrictions during lockdown
5 January 2021Cheshire West and Chester Council is urging everyone in the borough to follow the restrictions and stay at home following the latest government announcement of an England-wide lockdown.
The Prime Minister announced a national lockdown with a requirement to stay at home, with some exceptions including essential food shopping, outdoor exercise, medical assistance and work - if you cannot work from home.
People with certain medical conditions, who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be asked to shield. A letter will be sent to them setting out how to respond.
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Schools will make contact with parents and carers as soon as possible with arrangements for other children to learn remotely until at least February half term. Early years settings will also remain open.
These changes follow a rapid increase in the infection rate over the last two weeks, alongside a new variant of the virus reported to be between 50 per cent and 70 per cent more transmissible than the previous strain. This means people are more likely to catch the virus and pass it on.
In Cheshire West and Chester, the rate of infection is rising and on the 30 December was 435 per 100,000 people – a 67 per cent increase on the previous week.
Hospitals are also under pressure with 40 per cent of general and acute beds in the Countess of Chester now occupied by Covid patients.
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins emphasised that the council will play its part to support residents and businesses, but everyone must follow the rules to stay at home where possible.
Councillor Gittins said: “These restrictions, while incredibly tough for all of us, are necessary to save lives. We have seen a worrying acceleration of the rates of infection and this is now translating into more people getting ill and being admitted to hospital. We face a more infectious variant of the virus. The most effective way to combat this strain is to stay at home as much as possible. If we don’t follow these rules, we will see a further escalation with tragic consequences.
“The rate of infection has increased rapidly in recent days and like many other areas of the country, our hospitals are coming under ever more pressure.
“While the vaccine rollout gives us all hope, it would be incredibly sad if we didn’t all act now and follow the latest rules. Otherwise, we may lose the chance to save the lives of many people who could be vaccinated in just a few months.
“The Council and our partners across the public, private and voluntary sector will do all we can to support residents and businesses through these tough times and work is underway to speed up the rollout of the vaccine. But we also need to slow down the pandemic through these restrictions. The power to turn this around is in our hands. The message is now as it was last March. Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”