Statement from Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “As you will no doubt have seen in the national news over past couple of days, the NHS has confirmed that the COVID-19 mass vaccination rollout is now moving to include those aged 70 years and over and the Clinically Vulnerable under 70. This should without doubt be recognised as a positive milestone in the fight against this virus. At a local level, Surrey Heartlands NHS is asking for patience from residents. They are continuing to prioritise those 80 and over before contacting patients aged 70-79 and people in the clinically vulnerable groups. This rollout of the vaccine will reach you in the near future so, please, wait until you are contacted by the NHS with an appointment date. There is no need to contact them in order to seek a vaccine.

“There is also reason to be optimistic when it comes to the daily reporting figures of COVID-19 cases in Surrey, published by Surrey County Council. The figures across the board in Surrey have been slowly levelling out, and there are indications they are dropping slightly. Your compliance with the rules is making a difference. While this should rightly be recognised as encouraging news, we have been in this position before. We must continue to do all that we can to press these figures lower and lower. That means keep practising Hands – Face – Space and continue to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

“One of the accepted reasons for leaving your home is to shop for basic necessities. With few shops open, supermarkets appear to be extra busy. Why not book an online delivery or use click and collect services instead? Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it. If you have to go to the shops, you should act like you’ve got coronavirus. You should visit alone, socially distance from others at all times and wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. It is good practice to only pick something up from the shelves if you intend to buy it. Please try not to handle products, only to put them back.

“The new national lockdown has seen all non-essential businesses having to close again. These are really tough times for people in the retail and hospitality sectors who are unable to go work at this time. We are once more administering the government’s business support grants and are working as quickly as possible to put processes in place so that local businesses can apply for a grant if they’re eligible. For the latest information about available support grants, please visit our website.

“If you have any questions about what you can and can’t do under the new national lockdown, visit the GOV.UK website where it is all set out. Stay at home and take care of yourselves and others.”