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Leader responds to Rutland’s COVID ranking

Date Published: 13 October 2020
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley.

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, has issued the following statement in response to the government's new three-tier COVID ranking system for England:

I know lots of people were anxiously awaiting the government’s announcement about further coronavirus restrictions, on Monday.

The UK has seen a big increase in COVID-19 over the past week. We are now fighting a second wave of the virus that threatens communities up and down the county, including here in Rutland.

The government has set out its new three-tier system, which ranks areas across England and applies local restrictions based on infection rates and confirmed cases. Currently, our case numbers mean that we are covered by the minimum restrictions for medium-risk areas. However, the margins are fine. Rutland will face tighter restrictions if cases keep rising.

As a Council, we are ready to respond to any change in our local risk level. We have been working to support businesses, communities and vulnerable people throughout the pandemic, and we are standing by to ramp up our help and support, if needed. 

For anyone asking how Rutland can avoid becoming a Tier Two area, the answer is simple; we must all follow the guidance around hand washing, face coverings and social distancing. I know lots of people are tired of hearing this. However, these simple actions have been shown to prevent the spread of infection. We have to do it and keep doing it.

We must also cut down the amount of contact we have with people outside our household. If you do see friends and family from other households, you can only meet in groups of six or less. There are exceptions, like going to work, attending a wedding or taking part in outdoor sport. However, apart from exceptions like this – and even if you are meeting with friends from work or a sports club – you cannot meet in a group of more than six. In England, this limit of six includes children of any age.

If you meet up with others, try to do this outside, in the open air, and limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time. Whoever and wherever you meet, you must social distance at all times.

The second wave has shown us that young people are at risk from COVID-19. As schools near the half term, it is vital that parents talk to their children about following the rules – particularly the rule of six and social distancing, when meeting friends. 

If you have older children at university, remember that students who spend more time at their university address than at their family address need to register with a GP near their place of learning. This is so students have access to the right primary care. It also helps to ensure we have an accurate picture of where positive cases are located in the country.

Anyone who develops COVID symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell – must self-isolate and get a test. This is now the law.

It is down to us to follow the rules and do whatever we must to stop the virus from spreading. Although this is a global pandemic affecting millions and millions of people worldwide, the key to combating COVID-19 is personal responsibility and making the right choices in our daily lives.

Further information

For the very latest information and public health guidance in relation to COVID-19, please see the GOV.UK website.

Data showing the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK can also be found on the government's website. This includes a map of cases by local area in England, which shows the number and distribution of cases in Rutland.

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