Cllr Joss Bigmore, Leader of the Council says:
“From tomorrow we enter a second lockdown alongside the rest of England. It is now more important than ever that we continue to play our part to reduce the spread of the virus by following new government restrictions, to save lives and protect the NHS.
“The government took this decision in response to the rapidly rising infection rates across the country including Guildford.
“The new restrictions require us to stay at home, not meet up with people outside of your household and for non-essential businesses and venues to close. We need to stay alert and vigilant, only leave the house for essential purposes, and make sure we look after ourselves. If you can, please work from home, limit your contact with other people if you go outside to exercise or buy food or medicine, continue to maintain social distancing and wash your hands. It is absolutely vital that if you have symptoms, please don’t leave home and self-isolate.
‘There are some differences to the first lockdown guidance such as schools, colleges and universities continuing to open and for those in a support bubble (a support bubble is a close support network between a household and a single-adult household) who are still able to meet. While socialising is not permitted as the point of the lock down is to limit our contact with others, everyone is also able to meet with one other person outdoors in a public place.
“I was overwhelmed by the amazing community spirit shown during the first lockdown, and how we all came together to support one another. Now we must do the same again. If we stay at home, we will save lives. We are all in this together and we will come through this together. We want to reassure you all that we have continued to provide essential services throughout the outbreak and are still here to help and support you and our local businesses.
“We understand the struggles that this second lockdown will bring to many of our residents and businesses, including some people losing their jobs and struggling financially. The Coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak has had a major impact on our local, national and global economy and there will be more government grants coming soon. We also have a free online ‘Skills for Employment’ course running to help get you back into work– please email email@example.com for more details. We need to make sacrifices over the next four weeks that will hopefully allow our High Street retailers to reopen again before Christmas. If we show discipline now, we can minimise the impact on our local businesses, keep our children in schools and reduce pressure on the NHS. Please continue to show support for our local shops, many of whom now offer online sales.
“If you have visited our town centre you may have seen our new Safety Marshals. They will be on hand at peak times during the day and night to help everybody stay safe and follow government guidelines. Most people are now used to wearing a face covering, washing and sanitising their hands regularly and staying two metres apart but we want to do all we can to allow everybody to continue to enjoy our beautiful and historic town in safety. We have worked with our partners Experience Guildford, Pub Watch and venues to make this possible. If you see one of our Safety Marshals, please say hello – they are happy to help in whatever way they can.
“Our volunteers continue to play a big role in supporting our most vulnerable residents and I want to thank them for all of their hard and invaluable work. You, our residents and local businesses, are our top priority and we will to continue to support you throughout this difficult period. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you or anyone you know needs any help or support, with food parcels, prescriptions or because you are alone, our community helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am – 5pm (4.30pm Friday) on 01483 444400. Find out more information here: www.guildford.gov.uk/article/23881/Can-we-help-during-self-isolation-. Stay up to date with our Services at www.guildford.gov.uk/article/23821/Service-updates.
“Stay safe and we will get through this together.”