I am very sad to have to report that the country is facing a new wave of restrictions to try to bring COVID-19 under control.
I am all too well aware of the impact of the first lockdown on the education of our children, our ability to visit family and friends, and the devastating effect on so many small businesses and jobs in Brentwood and Ongar.
As always, the Government is following the modelling done by scientists from many different groups and backgrounds. Late last week, it became clear that unless urgent action was taken we would, before the end of November, see hospitals across the country overrun. This would mean that patients ill with the disease – or needing medical attention of any sort – would be unable to get treatment. This being so, the Government has had to act.
I know the Prime Minister and Cabinet held off as long as possible in the hope that a more regional approach would contain the virus. Unfortunately, this has again become a national problem – cases and hospital admissions are rising rapidly in all parts of the country. Even in areas which have relatively low rates, those rates are now increasing at speed, so the view of the government’s scientific advisers was that only a national intervention would work.
From Thursday 5 November we must all stay at home, unless you have specific reasons to go out. These include:
· For education;
· For work, if you cannot work from home;
· For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
· For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
· To shop for food and essentials;
· And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
These rules will be enshrined in law. They will expire automatically after four weeks, and whatever regime supersedes them will be subject to a further vote.
I know there will be many questions about individual aspects of the restrictions. Detailed guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.
As ever, you can contact me through my website www.alexburghart.org.uk. Please Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, and Save Lives.