Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “The government has confirmed that Mole Valley will move into the Very High Alert, Tier Three, on Saturday 19 December 2020.

“This is not the outcome anybody desired, but we must continue to remain vigilant. We cannot become complacent and risk the health of ourselves and others by not adhering to the rules we will need to follow.

“We must all keep doing what have now become the ‘basics’ in these extraordinary times, including wearing a face covering in most indoor public places (except were exemptions apply), maintaining a two meter distance from those you do not live with and working from home, where it is practical to do so. The new rules state we will not be able to meet socially indoors or in people’s gardens with anyone you do not live with, or is not in your support bubble, and a total of no more than six people can meet in eligible outdoor locations from this coming Saturday. These places include, parks; beaches; the countryside, outdoor playgrounds and gardens, including those of historical places.

“Many local shops will remain open in a COVID-secure manner. Tier 3 does mean that hospitality venues including restaurants and pubs must close once again, though takeaways will be available. Dorking Halls and other theatres in Mole Valley must also shut. Our parks and playgrounds are remaining open and you will also be able to enjoy the facilities at the Dorking Sports Centre and Leatherhead Leisure Centre, though some restrictions do apply. Community Recycling Centres stay open, as will libraries, and you can attend places of worship for communal prayer. A complete breakdown of the Tier 3 local restrictions can be read on the GOV.UK website.