Of course, this has come at a particularly difficult time in the lead up to the festive period and we recognise the concerns that being moved into Tier 4 will have on residents and businesses, who have sacrificed so much this year.
I know many of you were already making tough decisions about whether to meet up with an extended bubble over Christmas, but unfortunately this will not now be possible due to the Tier 4 rules, although support bubbles are still allowed.
Under the Tier 4 rules, all non-essential shops will close as well as gyms, leisure centres, Hertford Theatre, and hairdressers and barbers. We can only meet one person from outside of our household in a public space and we must not travel beyond Tier 4. We should only leave our homes for specific reasons such as food shopping, medical appointments and exercise outdoors. The restrictions will be reviewed on 30 December.
We will work with local partners, including Hertfordshire County Council to understand the details as to what this new guidance means for key services and businesses in Hertfordshire and how we can best support our residents. We will continue to share any further information we have, particularly about what support is available, on the Coronavirus pages of our website.
All of us in East Herts must now play our part and follow the new measures in order to address these rising infection rates in the county. It is vital we act now to protect vulnerable and older residents, as well as protecting the NHS during the winter period which is already seeing rising hospital admissions.
More than ever we need to remember those simply actions - to wash hands, maintain physical distancing, and wear a face covering. We also need those showing symptoms to self-isolate and get tested.
I know this is a difficult time for all of us and is not the Christmas we would have hoped but, as we’ve all shown so well in the past, if we support each other we can look forward to emerging out the other side.
Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful Christmas.
Cllr Linda Haysey
Leader of East Herts Council