Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “Following the government’s announcement last night, England has returned to a national lockdown. The rules now in place closely resemble the tougher restrictions in place in March last year when the pandemic first struck.
“The last few weeks have been a particularly difficult period for everyone, with many of us spending the festive period away from loved ones. To follow that with a new national lockdown introduced at the start of 2021 is challenging further still, but this is all being done to help save lives and protect the NHS. Local lives are at risk. Surrey residents are in our hospitals right now, both battling to recover from this virus and those NHS staff working to save lives and ensure there is capacity available for others who need help.
“The introduction of this lockdown is being driven by the faster transmission of a new virus strain. We are asking that you take this, hopefully, ultimate lockdown very seriously. This includes not gathering in any outdoor spaces and the rules concerning exercise outside during the national lockdown have been updated accordingly.
“I appreciate we are all feeling fatigued by the number of changes to restrictions over the past ten months, but we must always remember our responsibilities to ourselves and each other and follow the rules. We must all continue to play our part by minimising the contact with one another to reduce hospital admissions in Surrey. There is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the vaccines being rolled out at this very moment and there is a collective hope that this latest national lockdown forms part of a final push to beat this virus.
“From today, please ensure you stay at home and only go out where absolutely necessary to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary. This is only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
“The complete government guidance concerning this lockdown can be found on the GOV.UK website.
“This period of lockdown, which is set to be reviewed in mid-February will surely test our resolve but we have been through similar periods before and come out the other side. We will do so again, of that I am sure. Take care of yourselves and others by following the national lockdown rules. Please continue to stay safe.”