Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “The government has confirmed that when the national lockdown ends on 2 December, Mole Valley will move into Tier Two. This is the High Alert. Whilst everyone in Mole Valley have played their part and we had hoped to be a Tier 1 area, we have joined many areas across the country in the mid-tier. This new tier system has been strengthened in comparison to the previous occasion we were in local lockdown. This has been done to prevent a return to growing infections.
“We must remain vigilant. This tier has strict rules and we must follow them. The advice of ‘Hands, Face, Space remains. If the infection rate in the district rises, we could be moved up to the next tier and risk the rules imposed on us tightening. If you travel to a Tier 1 area, you will still need to follow the tier rules for Tier 2 while you are there. Everyone has been advised not to travel to a Tier 3 area wherever possible.
“We must all keep doing what have now become the ‘basics’ in these extraordinary times, including wearing a face covering in most indoor public spaces (except where exemptions apply), maintain social distancing wherever appropriate and working from home where it is practical to do so. The new rules state that we must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or in your support bubble indoors, and socialising in a group of more than six people anywhere outside is not allowed.
“It was confirmed on Monday this week that, across the country, many local businesses could reopen in a COVID-secure manner from 2 December. As a Tier 2 area, restaurants can reopen to provide table service, but pubs and bars can only open if operating as a restaurant. Dorking Halls, alongside other theatres in Mole Valley, is able to reopen, and can stay open beyond 11pm to conclude performances that have started beyond 10pm. Of real significance is the news that attending outdoor and indoor events, including spectator sports and business events, is once again allowed, though restrictions on numbers do apply.
“You can also once again enjoy the facilities at the Dorking Sports Centre and Leatherhead Leisure Centre as these facilities can reopen the doors too. Community Recycling Centres will be remaining open and you can once again attend places of worship for communal prayer. The complete breakdown of the Tier Two local restrictions can be read on the GOV.UK website.
“The government have also now announced rules for those who make the personal choice to spend their Christmas with friends and family from other households. Between the 23 and 27 December, up to three households can form a ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this five day period. If you do choose to see others at this time, please do so responsibly and follow the guidance in place. Further guidance is available”.