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Leader responds to new national COVID-19 lockdown

Date Published: 05 January 2021
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley.

Council Leader Oliver Hemsley has issued the following statement in response to news that England will enter a new national lockdown to combat the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The Prime Minister has announced a new national lockdown for England, effective immediately, to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country. This means a return to the kind of restrictions introduced in March of last year – we must all once again stay home, protect the NHS and each other, and save lives.

Residents must stay at home, except for a small number of very specific reasons, such as essential shopping, exercising once a day and to seek medical assistance. Everyone who can work from home should do so. Those of us who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 are once again being advised to shield and will shortly receive a letter from the government with detailed guidance. Primary and secondary schools will move to remote learning from Tuesday 5 January, meaning pupils must be taught from home. Classroom learning will still be available for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

I know this is difficult news to take on board, particularly for parents and people who are once again being advised to shield. The big difference now, compared to the first lockdown in March, is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is already being administered to people here in Rutland and gives cause for optimism. 

It will be hard to return to lockdown, but we have done it before and can do it again. Rutland County Council will continue to provide COVID assistance with the help of volunteers and other partners, for as long as it is needed. I know that Rutland residents will do their bit by adhering to the latest restrictions and supporting one another – as they have done throughout.

We knew there were still many months of hard work ahead. Another lockdown is not what anyone wanted but we must keep going and do what’s needed to protect each other. We have to get COVID-19 back under control. There will, of course, be further updates and more information to follow.

Councillor Oliver Hemsley
Leader of Rutland County Council

For full details of the restrictions that accompany the national lockdown, please see the GOV.UK website.

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